With the Golden State Warriors nearly losing the Western Conference Finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cavaliers rolling through the Eastern Conference, many people are hesitant to pick a team to bet on in the finals just yet. We did some thinking, and a little research to come up with a comprehensive strategy for predicting the winner of the series. We’re smart and you should trust us…
Most people who don’t follow basketball closely are unaware that ESPN’s Stephen A Smith has been pretty bad at predicting NBA Final winners over the past few years. He’s been so bad, in fact, that some have even went as far as calling it the “Stephen A. Smith Curse.” With such a bad record and talks of a “curse,” it is unclear whether he will be predicting a winner for the 2016 NBA Finals. If he does however, it might be a good indicating factor to take into consideration when deciding the outcome of the series.
When it comes to professional sports, superstition often goes hand in hand. Look at Major League Baseball for example, where we saw the Red Sox “Curse of the Bambino” for many years, the Cubs “Billy Goat” curse, White Sox “Curse of the Black Sox” and many others. Basketball is no exception curses and superstition.
The Warriors were a heavy favorite going into the Western Conference Finals, with the best regular season record in NBA history. In early May Bovada had the GSW at -160 while Oklahoma was +700 to win the conference finals. Oklahoma gave them a run for their money, however, forcing a 7-game series. Golden State prevailed in the final game, winning in true Warriors fashion, drilling 17 threes after coming back from a 13 point deficit.
Even though the warriors won and are still favorites to win it all, some people started to question how much gas was left in the tank of the Warriors. Though the Thunder are a great team filled with talent, the Warriors were expected to roll them over, but instead went 3-1 to start the series. It seemed like they only got better as the series went on though, and they proved they have one of the best teams, if not the best team in the NBA.
Overall, the Warriors are again a heavy favorite in the Finals, coming in at -200 for the moneyline bet according to Bovada. The Cavs are +170 to win the series. The point spread for game-1 is set at: Cavs +6 (-115) Warriors -6 (-105). The over/under on points is currently set at 210.