The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best basketball player on the planet, but their attempt to win the 2015 NBA Finals might not last very long. The Golden State Warriors are the clear favorite to win the title, and the betting odds at some sportsbooks have pegged a short series as the most likely scenario.
Sportsbook.ag has listed the betting odds of the Warriors winning in five games at +280. That’s ahead of any other possibility, including Golden State in seven games, which has been given +320 odds. At Bet Online, which favors Golden State heavier than most betting websites, the Warriors in five games is set at +350 odds. Golden State winning in seven games also has +350 odds.
Bovada.lv lists the Warriors in seven as the most likely scenario with 13/5 odds, but clinching the series in Game 5 isn’t far behind with 7/2 odds. Golden State is given a better chance at each sports book to clinch in Game 5 or Game 7 over Game 6, because they have home-court advantage. Game 6 will be played in Cleveland, where the Cavaliers went 31-10 during the regular season. Golden State went 39-2 at home this year.
LeBron James is no stranger to losing NBA Finals games at home. Last year, the San Antonio Spurs went 2-0 on the road against the Miami Heat in the finals, winning both games by at least 19 points. In both 2007 and 2011, James’ team lost the last game of the NBA Finals on their home floor.
The most unlikely scenario would be a sweep by the Cavaliers. The betting odds of Cleveland winning four straight games range from +1200 to +2200. If the Cavs hope to pull off the upset, doing so in Game 6 is expected to be their best chance.
There hasn’t been a sweep in the NBA Finals since James and the Cavs were swept by the Spurs in 2007. Four of the last six finals have lasted fewer than six games, and Bovada.lv lists the possibility of the series ending before Game 6 at +160.
Cleveland’s best odds of winning the series come at Bovada.lv, where they are +165 underdogs and Golden State has -190 odds. The odds are slightly more in the Warriors’ favor at Sportbook.ag (+185/-220), and Golden State finds itself the biggest favorite at Bet Online (+200/-240).
The Cavs have seen their betting odds improve since the initial line was released, but it hasn’t changed much in recent days. Even with the news that Klay Thompson suffered a concussion in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Golden State remains a decided favorite.
Thompson returned to practice for the Warriors on Tuesday, and Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that the shooting guard expects to play in Game 1 on Thursday. It appeared that Kyrie Irving might be much healthier for the NBA Finals than he was for the rest of the playoffs, but both head coach David Blatt and Irving have confirmed that the point guard won’t be 100 percent healthy.