Keeping up with the Warriors: A line-setting exercise in futility

Last year, with the Cavs down three games to one and facing elimination, Las Vegas reset their line for Cleveland to win the Finals.  If you had the foresight to predict the Cavs’ historic comeback, you could have made twenty-five times your money.

Of course, considering something like that had never happened before in NBA history, a comeback of that magnitude seemed even unlikelier than the 25:1 number Vegas was offering.

I didn’t play it and don’t know anyone who did.  Needless to say, it hit.  Somebody left the casino that night very happy.

At halftime of last year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots trailed the Falcons 28-3.

Las Vegas threw out a half time prop.  If you liked the Patriots to come back and win the game, you could get them at five-to-one.  Like the Cavs months before, nobody in their right mind felt the Patriots could come back from down twenty-five points.

They did.  Don’t call it a comeback.  They’ve been here for years.

Down 2-0 in these NBA Finals, the Cavs are once again in a hole they’re going to have a tough time digging out of.  They’ve essentially been manhandled the first two games of this series, outscored by a combined 24 points in the third quarters.  Whatever the Warriors are doing in their locker room at halftime, it’s working.

The Cavs are not the only ones getting manhandled, however.  The guys behind the magic curtains setting the lines have to be taking it on the chin.  For example, if you had enough sense to bet Golden State to cover all along, you’d be taking Vegas to the cleaners.

The line in Game One of the Finals was Golden State minus seven-and-a-half.  The Warriors covered easily, winning 113-91.  Odds makers adjusted the line, increasing it to nine points for Game Two.  It didn’t matter.  The Warriors once again covered easily, winning 132-113.  Note: they also covered the point spread in three of the four games they won against San Antonio.

Vegas can’t keep up and they can’t possibly be happy about it.

“The Warriors are sweeping the Cavaliers in a fashionable way. With those high scoring games, the online sportsbook odds have been covered with ease. Now, Game 3 is in Cleveland, but it doesn’t seem that the Cavs have that same fire like last year. Then again, we all remember what happened in 2016. Even more interesting, the Cavs are the underdogs at home. Game 3 could really define these Finals.” said David Strauss, line manager at MyBookie Online Sportsbook.

It’s insane to see the Cavs home underdogs but so far in these Finals, they’ve done nothing to indicate they should be favorites.

Prop sheets for this series look like video game numbers, a veritable NBA Jam of who can put up the gaudiest.  Online prop bets for either Curry and/or Durant’s combined points, rebounds and assists totals near the fifties.  Dare I say this is unprecedented.

One prop bet from last Sunday’s game set the over/under for the largest lead for either team at 18.5 points.  The over hit.  Another prop was total three-pointers made for both teams.  Vegas set the number at a ridiculously high 24.5.  That went over as well.

The moral of the story is, if you have the balls to bet these numbers, you’d be cleaning up.  You just have to pull the trigger.

Wednesday night, Cleveland faces as close to an elimination game as possible in Game Three.  They can ill afford to drop their first at home.  Is three the right number for Game Three?  Las Vegas sure the hell is hoping so.

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18 Replies to “Keeping up with the Warriors: A line-setting exercise in futility”

  1. I am not a huge fan of either team but I am rooting for the Warriors. If they win, and I expect them to, Lebron will be 3-5 in the Finals. Losing to the Warriors and Spurs twice each and also losing to Dallas and winning once each against the Warriors, Spurs and Thunder. He could have easily lost to both the Spurs and Warriors if not for improbable minor miracles in both those series. Also, the East has been historically non competitive in his time in the NBA. They were the 4th best team this year behind the Warriors, Spurs and the Rockets. I am not a LeBron hater but these comparisons to Jordan are fantasy. Can you imagine MJ saying that he didn’t care about a game much less the whole regular season? He’s a great player but definitely not the greatest. Not even close.

  2. Fabes….

    I do think these Cavs would have beaten both the Rockets and Spurs in a hypothetic Finals this year, one where the entire Warriors team is somehow kidnapped or vanishes into thin air. Somehow LeBron would have found a way against those other two squads.

    But the Warriors, man. Good God, they’re nasty right about now. I’ll leave the LeBron-Jordan comparisons to the currently reactive and those who forget Bill Russell won himself eleven championships in thirteen years.

    Different league, I get it. But not a bad winning percentage nonetheless.

    Side note, how geeked are you about potentially landing Chris Paul?

  3. Exercise in futility ? I expect the Warriors to make it 15-0 after tonight , hammering another nail in the Cavaliers’ coffin !!!! Who would have guessed LBJ and his teammates would look so bad ?

  4. So that means you’re laying the three, huh, Al?

    Probably not a bad play at this point.

    We’ll see how close they come to putting a nail in this series… and this season.

  5. I’m pretty sure the Spurs are not going to sign Paul. They are not in the habit of signing an aging star to a max contract and I don’t see it here. It will either be Patty Mills, Dujuante Murray and/or George Hill. I think Hill would be willing to take a “home town” discount to come back to the Spurs. I’d prefer Hill over Mills but they will be fine no matter who they get. I just read they will be signing some Hungarian player they drafted in 2011 to be Ginobli’s replacement.

  6. Not to hijack, but seriously LeBron passes to Korver for 3 instead of taking an easy 10 footer with 45 seconds left. Of course Durant comes down and immediately drops a three. I am not sure LeBron is even the best player on the court much less all time.

  7. LeBron has 39 points and yet gives up the shot when he needs to take it himself. Just wow!

  8. Maybe I am being too critical of Lebron. I turn on the game at the start of the 4th quarter. I want to see Lebron take the shot rather than pass at the end of the game as a casual fan.

  9. The last nail hasn’t been put in their coffin Chris , but last night’s provided you with everything you needed to know. Playing in a conference that allows you to look good doesn’t mean you are good and that’s what we found about the Cavaliers. Imagine if they were a Western Conference team , do you believe they would be able to win more than fifty games in a season ? This series has been an embarrassment for the NBA . Great turnaround from last season when the refs played their part to make sure the NBA Finals’ outcome was changed altogether when they ejected Draymond Green. I wasn’t aware that LBJ had been declared disabled and can’t be touched by an opponent ? Adam Silver and David Stern are cut from the same cloth , idiots then and they remain idiots now.

    Now are we going to hear even more cat-calls from morons such as Stephen A Smith and Barkley about the outcome or will they actually man-up admit they’ve been wrong all along , especially when it comes to their idiotic statements about KD ?

  10. LBJ and Kyrie played great last night and still got rolled.
    Too much KD & Steph in the end.
    GS is just too good, too deep and too talented.

    Seems KD heard all the jabs about him joining the Warriors and his reply will be to win Finals MVP and go home with his first trophy.

    Pretty good retort.

  11. Fabes…

    Pops and company sure do love their international players.

    I was just thinking about the upcoming draft the other day. With a draft class that not too many consider stellar, I wonder who the next international player is going to be that will wow us a la Porzingis.

  12. D…

    I’m sure if they had those last minutes to do all over again, there’s a lot they’d do differently.

    In retrospect, they’d probably do EVERYTHING differently.

    I wasn’t as offended by the pass to Korver as much as the lack of getting his hand up on KD on that final shot.

    Michael passed to Paxson and Kerr to win championships. He’s lauded for that. Korver had a wide open look and had been playing well. He needs to hit that shot when LBJ draws a double team.

    That being said… GET A FUCKING HAND UP ON KD WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE!!! You have to pressure that ball. Durant had been and can hit from everywhere. You can not give him an open look.

    Pressure that ball and make him work for that shot. He knows better than that. I think he’ll be having nightmares of Durant putting that shot over him for a long, damn time.

  13. Al…

    I don’t think the West was as good this year as it’s been in the past. The Eastern Conference has certainly narrowed the gap.

    That being said, I do think a LeBron-led team wins 50 games out West.

    Who out there other than San Antonio was in any way consistent? Utah? Houston maybe? Cleveland was better than them.

  14. Bleed…

    People forget in all this conversation that Golden State lost last year.

    Sure they won a title but not with Cleveland healthy that first Finals.

    I’m not entirely convinced LeBron doesn’t beat this team again without Durant.

    They are a super-team though. Good god, they’re nasty.

    It’ll be interesting to see what sort of off-season roster adjustments Cleveland makes to become a super team of their own.

    Reports of Cleveland’s demise are far too premature.

  15. Chris, I’m going to have to agree will Al on this… The Cavs would have had trouble wining 50 games in the West this year. They only won 51 in the East and there were 7 other teams in the league that had the same or a better record this year. They would have had to play the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, and Clippers one or two more games each and I can’t see them being over .500 against those teams. They would have been a 5th or 6th seed with no home court advantage and pretty much everyone other than LeBron disappears on the road. They would not have gotten out of the second round much less to the Championship. They play terrible defense, play to much isolation offense and take too many long contested 3’s.

  16. Who said anything about Jordan? Why bring him into it? Also Kerr made it and Korver didn’t. LeBron should have shot it, period. It was a 10 -12 foot jumper in the lane which he had freed himself for. He is 6’9″, athletic and scared of the moment. Pretty much it.

  17. Faber…

    That might just be the first time anyone has ever agreed with Al on this site. You’re setting a dangerous precedent here.

    In listening to LeBron yesterday, it sounds like he’s come to terms with the fact that the Warriors are just the better team.

    Why avoid the inevitable, right?

  18. D…

    Years ago, long before LeBron had ever won a championship, long before he even went to Miami, I proposed the question whether he was too nice. And by that, I mean not aggressive enough, not killer instinct enough.

    Nice! I found it. Check it out, wrote it back in 2010….

    Still a decent read.

    My point in that is… why is he not taking that shot? Why is he not ramming his game down people’s throats and stuffing that ball in the rim like he’s done a million times before?

    That’s scary LeBron. That’s the LeBron people like to see.

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