VIP MEMBERS SECTION
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6TH
NBA Playoffs Record: 48-32 (60%), +27.2 units
NBA 5u MAX Play Record: 8-2 (80%), +31.5 units
9:05 PM EST
Cavs ML over Warriors (5u MAX)
It’s now or never for the Cavs tonight. A win here makes it a 2-1 series and gives them a very real chance to tie it up Friday before the series goes back to Oracle next week. A loss puts them in a 0-3 hole which will all but end this series as no team has ever come back from down 0-3 and there is virtually zero chance they could win two games in Oakland. This is not an unfamiliar situation for the Cavs who were in this same exact spot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals and responded in a huge way with a blowout win which helped turn that series around. Obviously the Warriors are far more talented than the depleted Celtics were but the fact remains the Cavs have been an excellent home team where they have won 8 straight.
The Warriors are excellent in Oracle (almost unstoppable) but they have had their issues on the road this year. Home court is absolutely huge in the playoffs because role players always excel at home and struggle on the road and this is exemplified in the playoffs where pressure is at it’s highest. In Game 2 the Warriors shot 60% from the field and 41% from 3 and the Cavs were 40% from the field and 30% from 3. I expect to see close to the same disparity tonight but this time in the Cavs favor. The Cavs really get up and play solid defense at home which is KEY in this game because they need to avoid a shootout as their chances of outgunning the Warriors is about 0%. The Cavs has held their opponents at home to 97 points per game while the Warriors have gone under their team total in 6 of their last 7 road games. I expect the Cavalier role players to shoot much, much better at home tonight and for the Warriors to regress back to the mean after Curry set the NBA record for 3’s in a playoff game in Game 2. It is just extremely unlikely that Golden State will be able to shoot 45% from 3 in this game and JR Smith and Korver will not go 2/10 combined at home.
People have a short memory when it comes to sports betting and only remember the last thing they have seen. People already forget that the Cavs had the Warriors dead to rights in Game 1 and Game 2 was a 5 point game in the second half before Curry began his 3 point barrage which put the game away. I have had a great deal of success playing home team’s in game 3’s during the NBA playoffs over the years and this is about as good of a spot as you can get in sports. Teams down 0-2 in Game 3 at home are 31-4 (88.6%) ATS in the first half over the past 4 seasons so playing 1H in this situation is as absolute autoplay. Granted all four of those losses were teams playing against the Warriors but many of those teams were injured or severely outclassed which is not the case here tonight.
I look for Lebron to show up and be aggressive from the start — he was just way too passive in Game 2 — and have one of his best games of the playoffs. Another 50 point performance is definitely not out of the question. Refereeing is almost very biased toward the home team in the playoffs and finals especially like we saw in Game 1 so I expect the Cavs to get the majority of the calls tonight as well. We all know what happened in Game 1 but that’s well behind them at this point and now they have to come back and fight like hell at home and I look for Lebron and company to do just that. This is a huge game for Lebron’s legacy and every time his back has been against the wall this year he has responded in spades. We saw what he did in Game 1 and I expect something similar out of him tonight. This time, it will be in Quicken Loans Arena where the Cavs can feed off the home crowd.
The Warriors biggest weakness this year is their complacency and they have absolutely no pressure to win this game tonight. They too are best when their backs are against the wall but they are at the worst when they have a lead and do not feel any sense of urgency to win a game. We saw this in the Pelicans series where they dominated the first two games and were absolutely blown out in a rout in Game 3. Cleveland is a team who is reliant on the three pointer and they are just 19/64 from beyond the arc so far this series (29%) and that will improve at home. Whether you love him or hate him Lebron James is the best player in the NBA and there is no way he will be allowing this to end as a sweep. If he can get any help from Smith, Korver or Love they will win this game straight up relatively easily. Rodney Hood is also going to get some time in this game and look for him to be a spark off the bench potentially. Botton line — Lebron is going to put the team on his back tonight and with some help they get it done and move this series to 2-1.