I was so close to going at least 2-1 on Sunday’s picks for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. I had Cavaliers getting 8 points ($115-100), the under of 195 points ($115-100) and Stephen Curry to get less than 28 points ($23-20). With less than eight minutes left the Cavaliers had an 80-79 lead and I was looking to get the cover and the under with the only dark cloud being Curry’s 25 points. Curry hit a three pointer just a few seconds later, the Cavaliers fell apart down the stretch (outscored 25-11), and my Finals losses ballooned from $76 to $199 with the over under push of 195 points leaving me with two losses and a tie. Even though these bets are for entertainment purposes only I have to admit it stings a little to watch even mythical cash flow through my fingers in four short minutes.
The Cavaliers abandoned their big lineup in Game 5 and were surprisingly competitive playing the Warriors at their own game before spitting the bit late in the fourth quarter. Logic says that with only two days rest the shorthanded Cavaliers will be too exhausted to keep up with the Warriors but the Warriors are also playing a short rotation (regular center Andrew Bogut has played only three minutes the last two games) and may be equally exhausted.
The Warriors are 3.5 point favorites and the over/under has nudged down a point to 194 according to Sportsbook.ag. The Warriors may have finally found the key to getting Curry loose against The Cavaliers defense and when Curry starts scoring the rest of the team follows. Is there anything that can stop the Warriors? One thing is the NBA and their corporate sponsors desire to have a 7th game which will likely be the most watched basketball game of all time. Another thing is LeBron James, although his heroics only helped keep the game close for 44 minutes on Sunday.
I see the Warriors keeping to their small ball lineup and the Cavaliers mixing things up with their big front line combining with their own version of small ball in an attempt to keep their players more rested. After considering all the variables I have to think the Warriors have regained their rhythm and will win the championship and cover the 3.5 points. I’m still slightly ahead for the entire NBA season so I’ll pass on doubling my wager to catch up for the finals and make the straight bet of $110 to win $100 on the Warriors cover and for my prop bet I’ll bet $22 to win $20 that LeBron James will try to save his energy for the fourth quarter and score less than the line of 36.5 points. As usual, these picks are for entertainment purposes only with no actual money being wagered.