The NBA Finals continue tonight and I will have a Free Pick in game 3 between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which will take place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The game has a start time of 9:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ABC. Current Vegas betting odds have Golden State listed as 1 point favorites, while the total is set at 194.
Analysis: The Warriors took game 1 of this series and then had a golden opportunity to take game 2 vs a Cleveland team that was without Irving. Well that didn't happen as league MVP Steph Curry really struggled in the 95-93 OT loss on their home floor. It was just the 4th time all year they have lost at home. Golden State has gone 24-11 ATS in their last 35 games following a S.U. loss, but just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games vs the Central Division. The Warriors have scored 106.9 ppg on 46.0% shooting overall and 38.5% from long range on the road this year. Defensively they have been decent on the road as they have allowed 100.9 ppg on 43.0% shooting overall and 33.0% shooting from long range.
It's one thing to beat the Warriors at home this year, but it's another thing to do it without Kyrie Irving. That's just what the Cavs did in game two of this series and they have now grabbed the homecourt edge. Still they will have to go the rest of the series without Irving and that may hurt them over the course of what could be a long series. The Cavs are 37-11 at home this year. Cleveland has gone 14-3 ATS in their last 17 vs. the Western Conference, but just 4-10 ATS the last 14 in the series. The Cavaliers have been a good offensive team at home this year, scoring 103.9 ppg on 46.6% shooting overall and 38.5% shooting from long range. Defensively the Cavaliers have been solid at home, where they have allowed just 96.2 ppg on 46.1% shooting overall and 34.5% shooting from long range.
Pick: Im going to take the Warriors in this one. Despite the fact that Steph Curry had a horrendous night for them in game 2, the Warriors still had a very good chance at winning the game outright. I can't see him having that bad a game in this one and if he gets going then the Cavs really have no shot, especially without Love and Irving. The Minutes are starting to pile up for Lebron and the Cavs have very little depth on the bench. I fully expect the Warriors to grab back home court advantage with a big win here.
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Are the Cavaliers Overrated After the Hawks Sweep?
Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Atlanta Hawks in dominating fashion, but pro bettor Steve Fezzik thinks the betting markets are overreacting to the win when it comes to pricing Cleveland. Pro handicapper Teddy Covers disagrees, saying a point and a half adjustment on one game is far from a big change. Fezzik still thinks the line is off and will move back to Golden State being bigger favorites before the 2015 NBA finals tip off.