+368 is a big number. That’s how big of a moneyline underdog Vegas has the defending World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers going into Game 2 of the NBA Finals. For those new to sports gambling and unfamiliar with reading lines, +368 means that a $100 bet will win you a $368 profit on the Cavaliers. On the other side of things, a $100 moneyline bet on the Golden State Warriors will net a profit of only $27.17.
After a dominating 22 point victory by the Warriors in Game 1, it’s easy to overreact and believe that the Cavaliers have no chance in Game 2. Cleveland looked unmotivated and unprepared in the opening match-up and did a poor job of protecting the basketball with 20 turnovers for the game compared to just four turnovers by the Warriors.
In Lebron’s career coming into this series, Lebron has won three of the seven NBA Finals that he has participated in. In the three seasons that Lebron James’ teams won the NBA championship in (Miami 2, Cleveland 1), his teams have lost seven games overall between the 2012 (one loss), 2013 (3 losses) and 2016 NBA finals (3 losses). Six of those seven loses were by double digits. Lebron James’ team also lost Game 1 in all three of those championship seasons.
If we look at just Lebron’s six straight finals appearance prior to this series (2011-2016), five out of six of those series were tied at 1-1 after Game 2 with the exception of last season when Cleveland fell behind 2-0, losing both games by a combined total of 48 points ,before coming back to win the series in seven games.
That takes me to my prediction. In the last 11 games overall between the Warriors and Cavs, the Warriors hold a 6-5 edge against the Moneyline. But the moneymen winner is 11-0 against the spread in those games. That means the last 11 times that Golden State and Cleveland have faced each other the outright winner also covered the spread. So if you like the Warriors, take the Warriors as 8.5 point favorites to cover, but stay away from the Warriors moneyline at -368, it’s just not good value. But if you like Cleveland why settle for the -110 odds at +8.5 points? Go for the +368 Moneyline! Obviously Cleveland is are a big underdog, but if you win only 22% of the bets you make betting on a +368 underdog, guess what you will turn a profit!
There’s no guarantee here, and remember, there’s always a chance you can lose either way. But if you want the best value, and best chance to turn a large profit, the best play here is to go with King James and the defending World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers Moneyline +368. Do you believe the King deserves better than a a 22% chance?