Led by Kevin Durant (38 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Stephen Curry (28 points, 10 assists), the Golden State Warriors trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night in Oracle Arena.
Here's a look at the latest odds and predictions for the NBA Finals following the Warriors' big win.
According to OddsShark, the Warriors are nine-point favorites over the Cavs for Game 2 on Sunday night at home. The over-under is set at 221.5 points. Notably, the line opened at seven points before quickly moving to nine within minutes of the game ending. Clearly, bettors feel confident in the Warriors after watching them dominate Game 1.
Per Vegas Insider, lines are also out for Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland, with the Cavs sitting at two-point favorites in each contest. If past postseasons are any indication, the Quicken Loans Arena is bound to provide a wild and raucous atmosphere in favor of the home team, but the Warriors may end up being the favorites in those two games if they have anything close to a repeat performance of Game 1 on Sunday night.
Fans who bet on Durant to win the NBA MVP should be feeling confident right now. OddsShark listed Durant as a +200 favorite before Game 1, so bettors who paid $100 would make a $200 profit.
Lastly, with the way the Warriors played Thursday, a sweep might be on the horizon. Before the Finals, fans could have taken that action at +650 ($650 profit on a $100 bet). That looks like a stronger possibility after Game 1.
It's feasible that the Cavs come out and pull off the upset at Oracle Arena on Sunday night and swing the momentum (and homecourt advantage) their way prior to Game 3 in Cleveland.
However, three telling team statistics from Game 1 can't be overlooked.
First, outside of James, Love and Irving, nine Cavaliers combined to play 131 minutes and scored just 24 points on 7-of-31 shooting (22.5 percent). Simply put, the Cavs aren't going to win one game against the Warriors if that lack of complementary production continues.
Second, the Warriors scored 56 points in the paint, punctuated by a couple of easy Kevin Durant dunks where he glided through an empty lane with no resistance. The Cavs only scored 30 down low.
Third, the Dubs only committed four turnovers for the entire game, or an average of one per quarter. The Cavs turned the ball over 20 times.
No matter how well the Cavs' big three plays (and they were mostly good Thursday offensively), Cleveland doesn't have a shot in this series unless (a) the bench steps up, (b) the big men protect the paint and (c) they cut down on turnovers.
It's not a positive sign that the Cavs lost by 22 even though James produced 28 points, 15 boards and eight assists. He can only do so much.
Ultimately, it's hard seeing the Warriors losing a game in their building. Pick the Warriors to win Game 2, steal one of two in Cleveland and then clinch the Finals in Game 5 back in Oakland.
Pick: Warriors in 5