The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to overcome a massive missed opportunity on Sunday when they take on the Golden State Warriors as huge road underdogs again at the sportsbooks for Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals.
George Hill missed a potential game-winning free throw for the Cavaliers in the final seconds of Game 1 on Thursday before J.R. Smith ran out the clock in regulation, with the Warriors then cruising to a 124-114 overtime win despite 51 points from LeBron James.
NBA point spread: The Warriors opened as 12-point favorites; the total is at 215.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
Why the Cavaliers can cover the spread
Cleveland did everything right for the first 47 minutes and 55 seconds of regulation time and then melted down in the final five seconds.
Instead of stealing Game 1, the Cavaliers now face a bigger uphill battle than before going into Game 2, although head coach Tyronn Lue will do his best to help them focus more on the positives than the negatives.
Golden State was clearly on the ropes and nearly upset due mostly to the heroics of James, who turned in one of the best performances in NBA Finals history. If James can clear his head and play like that again, Cleveland can tie up the series.
Why the Warriors can cover the spread
The Warriors got their scare in the series opener and showed in OT how quickly they can build a double-digit lead. They nearly covered the 12.5-point spread and improved to 8-1 straight up (6-2-1 against the spread) in the past nine meetings, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
In addition, Andre Iguodala missed his fifth straight game due to a knee injury, so Golden State has adjusted to his absence and will get a nice boost whenever he returns, whether it happens in Game 2 or later in the series.
Smart betting pick
The Cavaliers blew a big chance and may not get another the rest of the series. The Warriors also got a wake-up call they will not forget. Look for Golden State to pick up where it left off with a fast and furious start on the way to an easy win and cover.
NBA betting trends
Cleveland is 5-1 ATS in its last six games.
Golden State is 2-4 ATS in its last six games at home.
The total has gone under in five of Golden State's last six games.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.