The Golden State Warriors entered the 2015 NBA Finals as the favorite, and they were expected to win Game 1. But after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, the No.1 seed in the West has seen their championship odds skyrocket.
Following their 108-100 overtime victory, the Warriors have been made as big as a -650 favorite at some sports books. Gamblers have to wager $650 to win $100 on the prospect of Golden State winning the title at Bet Online, while Cleveland has seen their odds move to +500. Sportsbook.ag lists Golden State as a -650 favorite and Cleveland as a +475 underdog.
Immediately after the contest ended, the Warriors were given -410 betting odds.
â€” RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) June 5, 2015
The change in the moneyline has to do with a key injury. Kyrie Irving suffered a knee injury and was forced to leave in overtime. ESPN has reported that Irving will miss the remainder of the Finals.
The Cavaliers started the series as +190 underdogs in Las Vegas, and the Warriors were given -220 odds to win their first championship in 40 years. The winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the NBA Finals 71 percent of the time. The last team to lose the opener and still win the title was LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2013. They lost Game 1 and won the championship in the previous season, as well.
The Cavs might have blown their best opportunity to win a game in Golden State and steal home-court advantage. Cleveland took a 10-point lead into the second quarter, and James totaled a career-high in the finals by scoring 44 points.
James nearly carried the Cavs to a Game 1 win, but he didn’t get much help from his supporting cast. He made 18 of his 38 shot attempts, while the rest of his teammates went a combined 21-for-56. J.R. Smith missed 10 of his 13 shot attempts, and he scored all of the team’s nine bench points.
Cavs’ offensive rating in 46 minutes of LeBron Game 1: 105.2 (That’s solid) Cavs’ offensive rating in 7 minutes without LeBron: 50.0. o_O
â€” Zach Harper (@talkhoops) June 5, 2015
Thursday’s loss makes Sunday’s Game 2 even more important for Cleveland. Only the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and the 2006 Miami Heat have ever come back from a 0-2 deficit to win the NBA Finals.