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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:04 PM

NBA Finals Predictions

Series Odds

The 2018 NBA Finals begins on Thursday May 31 from Oracle Arena as Golden State and Cleveland will meet for the fourth consecutive season in the finals. The Warriors have won two of the first three final encounters against the Cavaliers and the oddsmakers aren't expecting Cleveland to even up the recent meetings this summer. 

The Warriors, the No. 2 seed in the West, will have homecourt for this series which will be played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format.




In this year's regular season, Golden State won and covered both games against Cleveland. The Warriors earned a 99-92 decision on Christmas Day at home and followed up that win with a 118-108 victory 21 days later on Jan. 21 from Oakland. Including those results, Golden State has won seven of the eight previous games against Cleveland.

Throughout the 2018 playoffs our trio of NBA experts listed below have offered up their fearless predictions on every series and their records aren’t too shabby through 14 series (Exact Games).

Kevin Rogers: 11-3 (4)
Chris David: 11-3 (4)
Tony Mejia: 11-3 (4)

1st Round | 2nd Round | Conference Finals

Below are each of their predictions for the 2018 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers, which includes their analysis as well.

2017 | 2016 | 2015


2018 NBA Finals
Matchup Kevin Rogers Chris David Tony Mejia
W2 Golden State vs. E4 Cleveland
4-1

4-0

4-1



Analysis - Kevin Rogers

It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Warriors will capture their third championship in four seasons. Golden State should be shooting for a four-peat if it wasn’t for the 2016 meltdown against Cleveland when leading, 3-1. The Warriors can hit the reset button after staving off the Rockets in seven games of the conference finals thanks to a pair of spectacular second halves.

Cleveland needed two Game 7 series to advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season and LeBron James is incredibly headed to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals. Interestingly enough, the Cavaliers swept the top-seed Raptors in the second round, while needing seven games against the Pacers and Celtics.

James can only do so much to combat the four-headed monster of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The only way Cleveland wins this series is if one or even two of those stars have subpar series and/or get injured. The Cavaliers’ role players have been too erratic throughout the playoffs and depending on Kevin Love to be a huge factor in this series may be asking too much.

Golden State should take care of its business at Oracle Arena, while Cleveland can grab maybe a game on its home court, but that’s it. The Warriors will be celebrating another title in the Bay Area.

Analysis - Chris David

It’s rare to see Cleveland and the league’s best player in LeBron James listed as such heavy underdogs in a best-of-seven series but you could argue that Golden State should be favored by more. This is a mismatch of mismatches and the oddsmakers are certainly telling you so, listing Cleveland as high as 7/1 to win the series. Considering they were 5/1 to win the NBA Finals before the season, it goes to show you how low the rating on Cleveland has dropped.

Golden State is far from perfect and it could drop a game or two if it the shots aren’t falling, something that’s happened four times already in this year’s playoffs. However, the Warriors defense has been overshadowed in this year’s playoffs and the effort on that end of the court has been incredible. While many pundits blame the Rockets for missing shots, shouldn’t Golden State’s defense be given some credit? Holding the second-best scoring offense in the league under 100 points for five straight games is a feat that needs to receive more attention.

You can’t take anything away from LeBron and how he took this supporting cast to the finals but they’re so flawed defensively. With all due respect to Indiana and Boston, the Raptors were the only team that had an offense that could challenge Cleveland and they averaged 104.5 PPG. The Cavaliers did sweep Toronto and that was due to 51 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent from 3-point land. If Cleveland puts up similar numbers against Golden State, one win maybe two is definitely possible. I’m not buying it, especially after what I saw what happened to the Rockets.

I expect this to be the fourth and final meeting between the Cavaliers and Warriors in the NBA Finals and while we witnessed a great series between the pair in 2016, the same can’t be said for the 2015 or 2017 matchups. Unfortunately for basketball fans, I expect more of the latter this summer and I believe that Golden State will capture this series rather convincingly in four games.

Analysis - Tony Mejia

It's LeBron James. That's the only reason to give the Cavs one game here. I'd cover myself and back exact series prices on a sweep and this 4-1 edge.

That's how to bet the NBA Finals if you're not Floyd Mayweather. The Cavs aren't squaring up part four at 2-2. James is tremendous but human. One amazing player can't beat a team that is rightfully being discussed as one of the best of all-time. It's not rocket science.

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