THE NBA Finals' tip off early on Friday morning. Our man Nick Wells (@NVW89) gives us two picks to follow in Game 1.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors | Friday 02:10
So it’s finally here. This year’s NBA Finals start early on Friday on the West coast of the USA at the Oracle Arena, Oakland.
This building has been somewhat a fortress this season for the Golden State Warriors, where the Dubs have gone a mightily impressive 39-2! That means only two teams went there and won.
What’s even more impressive is when you see that the only team to beat them in regulation time were the reigning NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs (the other loss was an OT defeat to Chicago).
Steve Kerrs’ men averaged an impressive 113.3 points per game at home in the regular season, however, that number has dropped to 100.6 points in the post-season. Now this can be expected due to the improved intensity and overall quality of competition in the playoffs, but they’ve actually scored an average two points per game more away than at home, in the playoffs.
This to me says that there might be more to this than meets the eye, be it the extra pressure of playing in front of home fans or just away teams playing that extra bit harder, who knows.
So taking this trend into account and then seeing the fact that the Cavs defence has dramatically improved from letting up 101.3 points away from home in the regular season to a respectable 87.9 points away from home in the playoffs, I think it could be a smart move to fade the Warriors tonight in some shape or form.
Now don’t get me wrong. Cleveland could have five LeBrons on the court and the Dubs could still drop 120 on them with ease if they were in the zone and I have to admit I do expect them to pull off the win here tonight.
However with question marks over the sharpness of The Splash Brothers after they both suffered heavy blows to the head thanks to Houston's Trevor Ariza in the last round, let’s go with the stats and have a play on the Warriors scoring Under 105.5 points tonight in a cagey Game One.
The second and final selection I have my eye on is a player performance bet. After Kevin Love went down injured with a shoulder problem earlier in the playoffs, Tristan Thompson has come into the starting line up and really given the Wine and Gold some real grit and toughness and as such has been a monster on the boards, especially away from home averaging 10.4 rebounds a game.
So with that in mind and the fact we'll be hoping for a poor shooting night from the Dubs, I think it could be worth having a bet on Tristan Thompson to get Over 10.5 rebounds. Much like an Over 2.5 Goals bet in football, we win if he get’s 11 or more rebounds in the game, whilst the selection will be a loser if he grabs 10 or less.
Cleveland @ Golden State Warriors – Golden State Warriors Under 105.5 Points (4/5 Skybet)
Cleveland @ Golden State Warriors – Tristan Thompson Over 10.5 Rebounds (5/6 Ladbrokes)
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