Submitted by Wayne Allyn Root on Monday, June 8, 2015 at 4:00 PM
Wayne Root: Cavs Now Even at 1-1, Trying to Score Historic Shocker
Before the NBA Finals began, some in the media were suggesting that a Cleveland Cavaliers upset would be one of the biggest championship surprises of all time. It's not that the Cavs were a pretender. But, Western superpower Golden State was a whopping -240 favorite to win the title on the moneyline...and this just isn't a sport where big underdogs make headlines. It's one thing for a college Cinderella to score an NCAA Tournament shocker in a quick 40 minutes. Dogs winning a best-of-seven when the other team has home court advantage...MUCH TOUGHER!
Well, all of a sudden, the underdog Cavs have home court advantage, at least for two days....as they prepare for Game Three Tuesday night in Cleveland.
They're still a big market underdog. Golden State flew up to as high as -700 to win the series after Kyrie Irving was lost for the postseason. Cleveland's game two stunner (an outright winner that extended my postseason winning streak to seven straight!) has dropped the series prices back to where they started. We'll probably see pointspreads in this range the rest of the way...
Game Three: Golden State by around -1
Game Four: Golden State by around pick-em or -1 (depending on what happens in G3)
Game Five: Golden State by around -7
Game Six: Golden State by around -1
Game Seven: Golden State by around -7
Each team has to win three more games to throw a parade. Obviously, those projected lines suggest a much easier pathway for the Warriors than the Cavs. But...handicappers must remember that the market has been WRONG so far! In fact, all through the latter stages of the regular season and the playoffs...the market has been underestimating Cleveland while overestimating Golden State. Ask Warrior backers about that!
Oddsmakers missed the first two games by about seven points apiece after 48 minutes. If that error range holds up...then something very special is brewing in Ohio.
For Cleveland to win the series:
*They must continue to get in the head of Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut. Keep those guys unsettled, and things could stay very interesting. The media hasn't talked about it much...but Curry hasn't been his usual self since taking that bad fall in the Houston series.
*They must avoid the natural letdown spot that comes after such a big road win. There's just no room to relax! Winning Sunday but losing Tuesday just puts them back behind the eight ball.
*They must find additional scoring threats to help carry the load. LeBron James is about to face a very tough "every other day" game sequence that could wear him down. Crunch time offense can't be hoping somebody makes a trey, scores on a putback, or gets fouled.
*They probably have to hold serve in all three home games because it's going to be tough to win a second time at Oracle now that the fans have learned a lesson about complacency.
*They have to teach J.R. Smith some fundamentals!
It's probably too late for that last one. But, Cleveland has certainly played better than many in the betting markets expected. They would be up 2-0 if this was a neutral court event like the Big Dance, or even if the games were about 45 minutes long instead of 48 minutes. The early lines look to have underestimated how competitive Cleveland would be when "fresh."
Can the Cavs win, or at least stay close when tired? That's the next question bettors have to answer.
What THE KING OF LAS VEGAS thinks about that question is reserved for my paying customers. I'm on a 7-0 playoff winning streak, and I can tell you that it's very likely I'll have at least one "Game of the Year" caliber selection coming up in these next few games. We're guaranteed to go at least five now...so expect multiple standouts. There's not an obvious "shocker" bet when the posted lines are near pick-em. I believe that at least one victory margin in Cleveland is going to be a shocker because of its size.
I should also mention that there have been several postseason SHOCKERS in terms of the Over/Unders! Game Two of this series stayed Under by 26 points in regulation. We saw that a few times when Golden State played Houston. And, it's been almost nothing but Unders for Warriors games through the whole postseason. As the market continues to chase reality, I may be stepping out with a contrarian Over/Under shocker in the coming days.
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