For the second year in a row, the Golden State Warriors will go for a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, again as solid road favorites at the sportsbooks.
The Warriors were unable to complete the sweep last season, getting routed 137-116 by the Cavaliers who closed as five-point home underdogs and were defeated in Game 5 at Golden State.
NBA point spread: The Warriors opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total is at 215, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 113.4-101.5, Warriors (NBA picks on every game)
Why the Warriors can cover the spread
The Warriors turned in a nearly identical Game 3 performance on Wednesday, rallying for a 110-102 victory behind a career playoff-high 43 points from Kevin Durant.
Last year, Durant scored 31 points and hit a long three-pointer in the final minute that served as the dagger in a 118-113 win at Cleveland, and he did the same exact thing this time.
Golden State was able to overcome a poor shooting night from Stephen Curry, who scored just 11 points on 3-of-16 attempts—including 1-of-10 from three-point range—along with a triple-double from LeBron James to win and cover the spread thanks to Durant.
Why the Cavaliers can cover the spread
The Cavaliers were in this same situation a year ago and blew out the Warriors despite 35 points from Durant, who went on to win NBA Finals MVP honors.
The difference last year was team defense, as they held Golden State's other four starters to 16 points or less, with the backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combining for 27 on 8-of-24 shooting, including 6-of-19 from beyond the three-point arc.
Cleveland played well defensively against Curry and Thompson in Game 3, holding them to a total of 21 points on 7-of-27 shooting (3-of-15 on three-pointers), but five other Warriors had eight points or more in addition to them and Durant. A better effort on D could get the Cavaliers a W.
Smart betting pick
The odds of the same thing happening again in this Game 4 is debatable. After watching Game 3 end the same way as last year's did, it is easy to say James has too much pride to let the Warriors break out the brooms on his home court. But James could well be playing his final game in a Cleveland uniform, and this team's character flaws are too much for him to overcome at this point.
Golden State is 10-1 straight up and 8-2-1 against the spread in the past 11 meetings, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, and will repeat as NBA champs with another win and cover.
NBA betting trends
The total has gone under in 10 of Golden State's last 13 games.
The total has gone under in seven of Golden State's last eight games on the road.
Cleveland is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games at home.
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.