The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best basketball player on the planet, but it could be a struggle for them to win their first ever championship. The oddsmakers at sportsbooks both online and in Las Vegas have made the Golden State Warriors the clear favorite to win the 2015 NBA Finals.
Early money on the Cavs has forced the initial betting odds to change, but the Warriors are more than a 1/2 favorite at multiple sportsbooks. Bet Online and Sportsbook.ag have both given Golden State -220 odds to win their first title in 40 years, while Cleveland is a +190 and +185 underdog at the betting sites, respectively.
It might be hard to find closer odds than what Bovada.lv has listed, but Cleveland is still a decided underdog. The Cavs are a +160 underdog at the website, and the Warriors have -180 odds.
The Warriors are favored in both Game 1 and Game 2, giving the Cavs 5.5 points and six points, respectively. Golden State has home-court advantage in the finals, possibly playing four games at the arena in which they went 39-2 during the regular season. Cleveland was just three games over .500 on the road, though they’ve gone 6-1 away from home in the playoffs.
Golden State has been a significant favorite in each playoff series, following a 67-win regular season. Cleveland was favored in their first three series, despite being the No.2 seed and not having home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Playing in the Western Conference, the Warriors faced the more difficult road to the NBA Finals. The Cavs have had a more dominant playoff run, losing two games compared to Golden State’s three postseason losses. Both teams won three consecutive games when falling behind 2-1 in the second round.
Much of the public is backing the Cavs and LeBron James, who’s carried a banged up Cleveland team to the finals. But James is 1-2 when being an underdog in the finals, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and 2014. The Oklahoma City Thunder were favored to win the title in 2012, but James and the Miami Heat defeated them in five games.
Stephen Curry has led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in his first MVP season, and recent winners of the award have been difficult to beat when they make it beyond the conference finals. Three of the last four MVP winners that have reached the NBA Finals have won the championship.