The total for the May 31st NBA playoffs free pick seems a bit high at 217.5, and it’s actually up 1.5 points from a 216 open. You could have ridden the ‘under’ in both Conference Finals series to some serious bank. In the East, 5 of the 7 games fell under the total and Game 7’s 87-79 Cavs win did so by 30 points! In the Western Finals the final 5 games fell below the total and 6 of 7 overall. Game 3’s 92-95 Golden State loss missed the ‘over’ by nearly 40 points! It would be pretty easy to side with the ‘under’ in Thursday night’s Game 1, but is that what oddsmakers are trying to rope bettors into?
Can We Look to the 2017 Finals For High Scoring Games?
It’s well documented that this is the fourth straight time that the Cavs and Warriors will meet up in the NBA Finals. Some people love the great rivalry, others want to see new blood on the biggest stage. It’s Finals #8 in a row for Lebron James but only the 2nd year that Golden State has Kevin Durant in these matchups. The ‘Dubs’ dominated last year’s annual meetup, winning the series 4-1. There were some high scoring games too as Golden State 113+ points in all 5 games and the Cavs did the same in 4 of the 5 games. Durant had 30 points in every game of the Finals last season and should be in for another big series starting with the May 31st NBA playoffs free pick.
The biggest question heading into Thursday night’s Game 1 is if the Warriors can get back in the scoring groove? The Warriors had the #1 scoring offense in every major category during the regular season but were held under 105 points in 4 of the 7 Western Conference Finals games. Durant went for 25+ points in all but one of the Western Conference Finals games and Curry had 25+ in 4 of the last 5. The biggest key to forcing the total to go ‘over’ is Klay Thompson, who dropped 28 in Game 1 vs. Houston and 35 in Game 6.
Do the Cavs Automatically Mean an ‘Under’ Play?
Cleveland was able to make it to the NBA Finals despite failing to break 95 points 4 times in their series with Boston. That doesn’t fall on James, who scored more than 35 points four times in the series and had 36 total assists in Games 5, 6, and 7. The real reason why the May 31st NBA playoffs free pick may fall under the total is because of Cleveland’s supporting cast. JR Smith failed to score more than 5 points in 4 of the 7 Eastern Conference Finals games while Kyle Korver had 16 points total in the final three contests in the series. The Cavs will get a scoring boost with the return of Kevin Love but you’re seeing why Golden State is a whopping -12.5 favorite tonight.
One thing to remember about all those high scoring Cleveland games in the 2017 NBA Finals was that the Cavs had a bona fide second fiddle back then in Kyrie Irving. The Cavs might put up a few more points in Game 1 since the Warriors defensive stopper Andre Iguodala has been ruled out with a leg contusion. Even so, last year’s Game 1 was a blowout 113-91 Golden State win and it’s looking like that could play out the same way tonight.
May 31st NBA Playoffs Free Pick O/U Betting
These two teams met up twice in the regular season with both contests falling under the set O/U. Golden State won both meetings with the Christmas Day matchup being especially low scoring in a 92-99 Warriors victory. People kept waiting for the Rockets and Warriors to have an epic 132-128 game in the Western Conference Finals – but it never happened. The Cavs also showed a more slow it down – methodical pace in dispatching of the Celtics, especially in Boston in Game 7. There’s really just no way to have confidence in an ‘over’ play tonight especially if Golden State is prone for a blowout.
Free Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers / Golden State Warriors *Under* 217.5