NBA Finals 2017: Warriors vs. Cavaliers Game 1 Odds, Props and Predictions

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistJune 1, 2017

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, right, lays up a shot against Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson, left, and Kyrie Irving (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The rubber-match showdown between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers set to kick off Thursday night may not have surprised anyone, but that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy the ride to get to this point. 

This fate seemed to be ordained from the moment the NBA season tipped off on October 25. The Warriors may have ceded their championship title to the Cavs following the 2016 NBA Finals, but they dominated the 2016-17 regular season, finishing with the best record in the NBA at 67-15.

What's more, Golden State crushed its division, going 14-2 against those Pacific opponents. 

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers took a more winding path to arrive at this point, earning the No. 2 seed in the East behind the Boston Celtics. Cleveland went 51-31 in the regular season, but its struggles were most obvious close to home, as it only went 8-8 in the Central Division. 

But LeBron James and his squad would not be deterred, and now we are staring down the third straight iteration of Warriors-Cavs, beginning with Game 1 Thursday. 

Per OddsShark, unsurprisingly Golden State is favored in this opening contest by seven points. Let's take a look at some other props and make some predictions about the outcome of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 

      

2017 NBA Finals Game 1 Odds, TV Info

Matchup: Cleveland at Golden State

Date: Thursday, June 1

Time: 9 p.m. ET

National TV: ABC

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Odds: Golden State -7

     

Series Props 

First 3 Games

If you're convinced the Warriors could stun the Cavs in a sweep, Vegas is on your side. 

The odds are best for Golden State to jump out to a 2-1 series lead at 1-1. However, just behind those odds is the possibility that the Warriors could get out to 3-0 against the Cavaliers, listed at 12-5. 

All the odds for the possible outcomes of the first three games are listed below:

  • Warriors, 2-1: 1-1
  • Warriors, 3-0: 12-5
  • Cavaliers, 2-1: 5-2
  • Cavaliers, 3-0: 20-1

If you're bullish on LBJ and the Cavs climbing to an early series lead, there is money to be made. But those odds are pretty long.

Prediction: Warriors, 2-1 

     

Race to 100 Points 

If you think you know which player will climb his way up the scoreboard to reach 100 first in the NBA Finals, there's a prop bet for you.

The list of the odds is below, per OddsShark:

Knowing that James has now surpassed Michael Jordan as the all-time leading scorer in the playoffs, it might seem like a no-brainer that James would be the first player in this series to reach 100 points.

After all, he averaged just below 30 points per game in the five-game series against the Celtics. 

In fact, James would have easily cleared 30 in his average had it not been for his 11-point performance in Game 3. 

Even though Vegas likes James' odds to hit 100 first, he could easily be outscored by Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant. 

Curry scored more in a single postseason game this year than James, dropping 40 in Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs. However, he also had two efforts below 30 points, so while his ceiling may be higher (or maybe not—this is LeBron we're talking about), his odds are less reliable. 

Prediction: LeBron James

     

When Will the NBA Finals Finish?

If you've been arguing with your friends that there's no way the Cavs can take the Warriors to Game 7, this prop bet is for you. 

According to OddsShark, these are the odds that the series will end in four, five, six or seven games:

  • Game 4: 6-1
  • Game 5: 11-5
  • Game 6: 9-5
  • Game 7: 37-20

While a Game 4 sweep is unlikely, anyone who has watched the Warriors terrorize the rest of the league both in the regular season and in the playoffs knows that this team is capable of anything. 

Undefeated Golden State is just one win away from owning the longest winning streak to start an NBA postseason in history, having swept their first three series. 

The safest bet is that the Warriors will take the series in six games, 4-2. 

Prediction: Warriors in six

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