Thursday, June 4, 2015

NBA Finals Predictions - Game 1

  The NBA Conference Finals ended so quickly there was a week off between their end and the start of the NBA Finals tonight. For me it was a welcome week off from my NBA predictions and a good chance to reflect on my NBA predictions so far this season:

Regular SeasonRecord+/-
Against spread14-15-$250
Money Line4-0+$400
Series Picks
Round 12-2-$10
Round 22-1+$100
Conference Finals
Against spread0-3-$325
Over Under5-1+$390
Total Conference Finals5-4+$65
Total Playoffs9-7+$155
Total NBA Season27-22+$305

  A 55% winning percentage is well above the 52.4% required to break even and not too shabby if not the stuff 1-900 tout businesses are made of. I'll admit to being pretty impressed with both the good fortune on my picks and my adaptive ability when I was willing to switch from picking the spreads to the over/under midway through the conference finals.

  My past predictive ‘glories’ mean nothing in the NBA Finals and I’m approaching this as if I’m starting from scratch. The Cavaliers and Warriors split the season series with both teams winning at home. LeBron James missed the Warriors' 112-94 win on January 9th and scored 42 points in the Cavaliers' 110-99 win on February 26th in Cleveland.

  The Cavaliers’ Kevin Love is out with his separated shoulder which has made no difference to the Cavaliers who have won 8 of 10 since the injury. Even Kyrie Irving’s injured knee has failed to slow the Cavaliers down. I can’t see the Warriors being able to slow LeBron James while I believe Cavaliers’ guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith will have some success in taking league MVP Stephen Curry out of his comfort zone. The schedule is working heavily in the Cavs' favor. The Cavaliers’ season turned around after James took two weeks off in January. James came back re-energized and now he has had another week off and there will be an additional two days off between games 1 and 2. I think James will be transcendent but I also believe this is the series where he will need Irving’s help and I’m not sure that Irving is going to be able to play at full speed. I want to pick the Cavaliers in 6 for +185 but without knowing the health of Irving I’m going to refrain from making a series pick.

  My preferred line provider has the Cavaliers getting 5.5 points in game 1. Besides being mediocre to awful picking against the spread, I want to see the health of Irving and Warriors’ concussed guard Klay Thompson before picking games against the money line or point spread.

  I’m going to go with what I know and pick the over/under line. If you noticed the Cavaliers-Warrior scores two paragraphs above this one the total points were 206 and 209. The over/under for game one is 203. Despite the prowess of both teams defenses I see lots of three pointers being taken and made and don’t see the game staying in the 90’s so I’m wagering $110 of my mythical winnings to win $100 for my main bet.

  Since this is the NBA Finals and I've seen these teams play for six weeks I’m going to make some extra proposition bets for very small stakes. The over/under of LeBron James made free throws is 7. I can see the King taking it to the rim a lot in this game to get Warriors’ big man Andrew Bogut in foul trouble and will bet $12.50 on the over to win $10. And as long as I am operating on the premise that James will be unstoppable I'll wager $11 on 'King James' scoring over 29.5 points to make an additional $10.

  I picked up a lot of blog traffic when my round 2 predictions made the front page of the bing search engine a month ago. I want to let my newfound readers to know that while I’m very serious about my predictions I’m even more serious about my predictions being for entertainment purposes only and I am NOT betting real money on these games. If you are looking for a sure thing I suggest you reply to one of those emails from one of those relatives of one of those deceased Nigerian oil ministers who managed to abscond with XXX MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS and is looking for someone to provide a bank account to store it in return for 10% of XXX MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS.