The 2018 NBA Finals get underway in the early hours of Friday morning UK time and Neil Monnery prices up a few of the best bets for the series...
'If both teams play at 100% in each game, Golden State should sweep. They are the better team and have four perennial all-stars.'
NBA Finals Outrights
Starting on Friday 1 June 2018, 02:00 (UK Time)
Live on BT Sport 1
Some people may get bored of the same two teams facing off in the NBA Finals for the fourth year running but not me. Give me the best player against the best team and I'll happily watch them go at it.
This incarnation of the Cavaliers is much weaker than we've seen in recent years. LeBron James is still the premier player of his generation. In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, he played all 48 minutes to lead his side to the road victory. You can tell that the 14-time All Star was rather pumped...
Outside of LBJ however, you struggle to see much about this group of players to like. Kevin Love has yet to hit the heights of his Minnesota Timberwolves days and Kyle Korver was brought in to add that three-point threat but went 14 for 33 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs will go as far as the Superhuman James can take them.
On the other side of the court you have the overwhelming favourites in the Golden State Warriors. They have shown signs of complacency all season long but when push came to shove against Houston, the defending champions found their stroke.
When Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder, this is the reason to chose to join the Warriors. After yet another superb campaign, he'll look for back-to-back championships. He scored 30.4 PPG in the Western Conference Finals.
As great as Durant is though, I think the Warriors are at their best when the Splash Brothers are in the groove. Steph Curry has struggled to find his range so far in the 2018 NBA playoffs but his third quarter performance in Game 7 gave hope that his form is coming back. Klay Thompson drowned nine three-pointers in Game 6. If they are playing near the top of their game, it is hard to see anything but a Warriors win.
If both teams play at 100% in each game, Golden State should sweep. They are the better team and have four perennial all-stars. Yet they've seemed unfocused at times this campaign and go through lulls. This makes me think it'll go longer than the minimum.
The Cavs won in the Bay Area twice in their impressive NBA Finals comeback two years ago and I think they'll win at least once in front of the Warriors home supporters.
I can't see Steve Kerr's men losing the series however and I could easily see them winning on multiple occasions at Quicken Loans Arena. You can get 9/2 on Golden State winning on the Sportsbook in six games and that is where I'd be looking.
LBJ is going to be the best player on the court but the fact he's third favourite to be the MVP shows that the general consensus is his team will fall short. Steph Curry has yet to be named as a Finals MVP and at 2/1, it feels like this is the year for him. Yet if you are searching for value then Klay Thompson is available at a whopping 14/1. No way should he be priced that much higher than his fellow Splash Brother.
When scrolling through the #OddsOnThat specials, one bet really stood out to me. You can get Golden State to outscore the Cavs by 50+ Total Points in the NBA Finals at 4/1. I think the series goes six games but both the Cleveland wins will be relatively close. This means the Warriors will need to win their four games by a combined 60 points or so. The way they go on runs and blowout teams late, this doesn't seem that far-fetched at all.
Back Golden State to win the series 4-2 at 9/2 (Betfair Sportsbook)
Back Klay Thompson to win the Series MVP at 14/1 (Betfair Sportsbook)
Back Golden State to win the series by a combined 50+ points at 4/1 (Betfair Sportsbook)