Even after the Cleveland Cavaliers took a 2-1 series lead in the 2015 NBA Finals, the odds makers still give the edge to the team that’s been the best in the league all year. The Golden State Warriors remain slight favorites to win the championship over LeBron James and Co.
Minutes after the Cavs beat the Warriors 96-91 in Game 3 on Tuesday night, Golden State had as high as -120 odds of winning the series. As of Wednesday morning, Cleveland’s odds (-105) at Sportsbook.ag were nearly even with those of Golden State (-115). Bet Online gives the Cavs (-102) a slightly worse chance of beating the Warriors (-118)
â€” RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) June 10, 2015
The Cavs have control of the series, as well as home-court advantage, but the odds say that won’t last long. Golden State is a 2.5-point favorite in Cleveland for Game 4 on Thursday night. The Cavs have one loss at home this postseason, falling to the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the second-round.
If Cleveland hopes to upset Golden State and win their first title in franchise history, they might need to get continued unprecedented performances from their players. James’ averages of 41.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game have never been sustained over an entire NBA Finals, and his 123 points over three games are a record. Matthew Dellavedova scored 20 points in 39 minutes on Tuesday, recording a season-high after averaging 4.8 points in 20.6 minutes per game during the regular season.
A championship for Cleveland would be one of the most improbable in NBA history, considering the injuries the Cavaliers have suffered and how strong the Warriors were in the regular season. Golden State enter the playoffs with a 67-15 regular-season record, and no 65-win team has ever lost in the finals. James is carrying the Cavs against the NBA’s best team, even though Cleveland is missing their No.2 and No.3 scorers.
Stephen Curry’s abysmal performance in Game 2 helped Cleveland tie up the series, but he looked like the 2015 NBA MVP in the final quarter of Game 3. He ended the contest with 27 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, including 7-13 from three-point range.
The Warriors had been relatively dominant this postseason until the finals, but they did face a similar situation in the second round. Golden State lost Game 2 and Game 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies, falling into a 2-1 series hole. The Warriors quickly rebounded, winning Game 4 on the road by 17 points, as well as the next two contests by 33 total points.