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2017 NBA Finals Predictions: Who the Experts Are Picking

2017 NBA Finals Predictions: Who the Experts Are Picking

The experts weighed in on the heavyweight battle that is the 2017 NBA Finals. (Getty)

The 2017 NBA Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors may be surrounded by more hype than any series in quite a few years. Part of it is due to the fact that these two teams met in the finals during each of the previous two seasons.

While there’s an even split between the two teams, with the Warriors winning in 2015 and Cavaliers in 2016, one team has a distinct edge this year in the betting odds.

According to OddsShark, the Warriors opened as heavy favorites to win the series at -240. The Cavaliers are priced at +200 to win the series. This means that if you believe LeBron James and company can get the job done, then you could walk away with a pretty penny on this bet.

Read More From Heavy

Cavs vs. Warriors Odds: NBA Finals 2017 Betting Preview

So, the Warriors are favored, but what do the experts of the sports world think about the series? Let’s run down the picks and predictions from across the internet.

Zach Lowe of ESPN opted to go for the Warriors in six games, stating the following:

“They should be fresh enough to cut, screen, and pass with a crispness that is hard for any defense to track over 48 minutes — a visceral, blurry speed that vanished as the pressure mounted a year ago. They have hungered all season for this challenge. They should meet it with an urgency we haven’t yet seen from them. Cleveland has improved its defense after lazing away the winter, but if the best offense in league history plays with zippy diligence, the Cavs will suffer occasional breakdowns.”

As for the rest of the ESPN staff selections, the bulk of them opted to hop on with the Warriors as well. Of the 27 other names on the list, only five picked the Cavaliers to win the series. These names included J.A. Adande, Ian Begley, Dave McMenamin, Mike Wise and Michael Wright. Four of those five also picked the series to go to seven games.

LeBron and company may have an uphill battle against the Warriors. (Getty)

CBS Sports offered up five picks of their own, but only four writers picked the Warriors and Cavaliers to meet in the finals. This begins with Bill Reiter, who chose the Warriors in seven games.

“Waiting, again, are the Golden State Warriors with an eye on revenge. This time, there is no 3-1 collapse — just a long, hard slog that Stephen Curry & Co. pull out in another epic Game 7.”

Matt Moore picked the Warriors as well, but in five games.

“The Warriors win the Game 5 they feel they should have last year and top off two titles in three years behind the biggest free-agency acquisition since James. Durant and Curry’s legacies are secured and everyone kind of shrugs because there’s nothing special or exciting about it — it’s just what everyone expected.”

Finally, James Herbert and Jack Maloney also picked the Warriors, with Maloney opting to take the Warriors in five games as well.

“Hopefully I’m proven wrong, but I don’t expect Warriors-Cavs III to be as compelling as Round 2 was last summer, and I’ll take the Warriors over the Cavaliers in five games.”

Sporting News was up next, with Sean Deveney offering up his analysis and pick, rolling with the Warriors in six games.

“The NBA needs a good series here, and the mere fact that it’s a third straight matchup means it will be compelling. But the Warriors just have too much frontline talent.”

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant could help lead the Warriors to their second title in three years. (Getty)

Finally, Sports Illustrated reeled off a landslide of predictions in favor of the Warriors.

Lee Jenkins: Warriors over Cavaliers in 5

Ben Golliver: Warriors over Cavaliers in 5

Andrew Sharp: Warriors over Cavaliers in 5

Chris Ballard: Warriors over Cavaliers in 4

Matt Dollinger: Cavaliers over Warriors in 6

Rob Mahoney: Warriors over Cavaliers in 5

Rohan Nadkarni: Warriors over Cavaliers in 5

DeAntae Prince: Warriors over Cavaliers in 6

Jeremy Woo: Cavaliers over Warriors in 7

So after all the picks were tallied, the predictions look as follows:

Warriors: 36

That’s a pretty big landslide in terms of picking the NBA Finals matchup that features arguably the two best teams in the league. Time to see what the two most loaded teams in the NBA are capable of doing in a seven game series.

Read More From Heavy

Cavs vs. Warriors: NBA Finals Schedule, Dates & Times

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NBA Finals expert predictions - Business Insider

Here's who the experts are predicting will win the NBA Finals

  • Jun. 2, 2016, 4:48 PM
  • 16,952

Stephen Curry signals that the Warriors and Thunder will play a Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals, at Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The vast majority of NBA experts are predicting the Golden State Warriors to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

We surveyed 47 experts and only 10 are predicting a ClevelandВ victory. The other 37 all like Golden State, and the majority of that majority like them in six games. Here's how a few sports media outlet seeВ the series playing out:

Taking a look at the more algorithmic approach, both Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight and Microsoft Cortana like the Warriors.В FiveThirtyEight gives the Warriors a 69% chance to win the series and a 71% chance to strike first in Game 1. Cortana, meanwhile, gives the Warriors a more modest 65% chance to win Game 1, but didn't predict the series as a whole.В

From a betting perspective, hours before tip-off the Warriors are Vegas favorites to lift the Larry O'Brien trophy for the second consecutiveВ year.

According toВ OddShark, the Warriors are 5.5-point favorites on their home court tonight, marking the first time all playoffs that the Cavaliers are underdogs. Per Vegas Insider, the Warriors enter the series as a heavy -215 (bet $215 to win $100) favorite, compared to the Cavaliers, who are +180 (bet $100 to win $180).

Among the most prominent NBA writers, almost everyone likes the Warriors. ESPN's Zach Lowe (recently hailed by Slate as the best sportswriter alive) picks the Warriors in 7, while Howard Beck of Bleacher Report and Lee Jenkins of SI both like the Warriors in 6. ESPN's Tom Haberstroh pickedВ the Warriors in five, whileВ Tom Ziller of SB Nation strayed from the consensus, picking the Cavs in 6.

Of the 10 experts who favor the Cavs,В nine of them like them to win in six games. This makes sense: as we saw with the Thunder, it's nearly impossible to close out a series away from home, especially during the NBA finals, and especially at Oracle Arena.В

Insofar as experts' predictionsВ tell us anything, the Cavs have a tough task ahead of them. The good news for Cleveland fans is that these predictions come true about as often as they do not.

NOW WATCH: How to train a falcon — according to a falconer at Medieval Times Recommended For You Powered by Sailthru Here's who the experts are predicting will win the NBA Finals

The vast majority of NBA experts are predicting.

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  • 2017 NBA Finals Prop Bets - Fun Prop Bets You Can Make On Game 4

    2017 NBA Finals: Game 4 Prop Bets and Predictions

    Game three of the 2017 NBA Finals was rather chaotic, as the Golden State Warriors got the first and last laugh en route to a crazy 3-0 lead in the series. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were both amazing, but they couldn’t lift the Cavs on their own, as Cleveland ultimately cratered during a decisive 11-0 run by the Dubs to close out the game.

    While things didn’t go quite as planned for the Cavs in game three, James and Irving still both found a way to win NBA bettors plenty of cash, depending on what side of numerous player prop bets you stood on. If you followed with our NBA Finals prop bets, you probably made out pretty well.

    BetOnline dished out several NBA Finals player prop bets to take advantage of and we broke them all down and delivered our picks for which side we felt offered the most stability and/or upside.

    When the dust settled, we correctly picked LeBron James would triple-double (+240), Klay Thompson hitting 3.5+ three-pointers (+150), Stephen Curry’s made three-pointers (-110), Curry’s free throw count (-130), Draymond Green’s point total (+110), Kevin Durant’s point total (-110), Klay Thompson’s point total (-120), Kyrie Irving’s point total (-110) and LeBron James’ point total (-110).

    The upside wasn’t there with every bet, but our accuracy and some of the value should have led to a fine day at the office if you sided with our logic. BetOnline is back at it again with even more tantalizing NBA Finals prop bets, so let’s dive in and see if we can’t make some more coin off of this heated title series:

    Most Points Scored – KD vs LeBron

    This is a huge game, so the first player prop bet makes sense; a battle between KD and LeBron. The two have both wrecked through the first three games, but BetOnline wonders who will wreck more in this elimination game:

    Durant has been the more prolific scorer to this point in this series and we can probably safely expect both guys to play as hard as they can in such a huge game. Considering Durant is getting spotted 3.5 points here, he makes a ton of sense in this spot.

    James scored way more points in game three, but that as the first time he topped 30 points in this series. Durant has done so in every game, while we need to consider the Cavs could get housed as this series draws to a close.

    Draymond Green – Total Points Scored

    Green is the first player up for BetOnline’s “points scored” NBA Finals prop bet, which is ironic because he’s not known for his offensive production. Green has actually averaged over 13 points per game during the playoffs, but has sacrificed his offense to make a bigger defensive impact in this Finals series:

    We nailed Green safely on the Under in game three and with the bet dead even, there’s little reason to force s to the Over.

    Kevin Durant – Total Points Scored

    Durant made for a pretty easy Over bet in game three, but he actually barely topped his 29.5 Total. He’s scored 30+ points in every single game in this series, though, and is on his way to winning the NBA Finals MVP. Will that mean he finishes strong with a huge game four, though?

    Nothing to this point has suggested KD is slated for a big drop-off in scoring production, as he finished game three with a clutch three and carried the Dubs to a third straight win in this series.

    Kevin Love – Total Points Scored

    Love continued to be an overall disappointment in game three, when he hit 1 of 9 shots or just nine points on the night. Love is trying to make an impact in any way he can (6 steals last game), but he’s not really making it happen offensively. Naturally, that makes him a shaky bet to rise up with a big shooting performance in game four:

    This is another even bet, so we really can only go off the guy Love has been in this series. This is a crucial game and if the Cavs are going to extend this series, Love might end up being a pretty big reason why.

    Klay Thompson – Total Points Scored

    It is pretty clear Klay Thompson didn’t enjoy being Golden State’s weak link after a poor effort in game one, as he’s really turned it on over the last two games. BetOnline wonders if that means he’s a lock to hit the Over in game four, however:

    Thompson crushed his scoring projection in game three and he doesn’t need to come close to game three’s 30 points to do it again. The guy averaged over 22 points per game during the regular season and has really found his groove in this matchup, so there’s not much reason to deny him here.

    Kyrie Irving – Total Points Scored

    Irving has had major issues from long range in this series (0-7 in game three), but he’s very dialed in as a scorer and provided this game doesn’t end up being a blowout, he’s a threat to put up a good amount of points. BetOnline wants to know if it will be 27 or less:

    Irving has been a consistent scoring threat throughout this series and he rose up to pile on 38 points in a losing effort in game three. Regardless of how game four goes, Cleveland’s second-best player will be driven to pile on the points again.

    LeBron James – Total Points Scored

    The story is the same for King James, who has scored 28, 29 and 39 points in the Finals so far. He topped his Total projection in game three and it only rises to 35 points:

    James is still the best player on his team and he’s fully capable of dropping 50+ points in this matchup if he puts his mind to it. He very well may have to if the Cavs are going to escape Friday night with a win.

    Stephen Curry – Total Points Scored

    Curry is out last player with a total points scored bet at BetOnline and like a few others, his is fairly high:

    Curry missed out on hitting the Over by two points in game three and we do need to consider he’s not necessarily needed for a huge scoring output with both KD and Klay Thompson playing so well.

    Will Stephen Curry Record a Double Double?

    This is a tricky bet, as Curry has been a monster across the board in this series, whether it be dishing out dimes, scoring or grabbing rebounds. But will he record a double-double for the fourth straight game in this series?

    You could easily hit safely on the “no” bet here, but Curry is hitting the boards like crazy in this series and is always going to be a threat to register 10+ dimes with how the Dubs share the ball.

    Will Draymond Green Record a Triple Double?

    This is oddly enough a bit more viable than Curry’s double-double bet, as Green routinely gets triple-doubles and missed out on one by one point in game one. Green’s lack of scoring offers up a very valuable bet at BetOnline:

    I still don’t think the scoring is there to really trust Green, but this guy does everything else at a high level. The value is there to aim high and make a ton of money with this bet.

    Will LeBron James Record a Triple Double?

    This weirdly feels like one of the safest NBA Finals prop bets you can take right now, as James has put up a triple-double already in this series and missed out on two others by one assist in one game and two assists in another:

    James has been a total machine and has either registered a triple-double or been dangerously close. He’s amazing at putting up stats across the board, so we always have to consider him for a bet like this.

    Will Kyrie Irving Record a Triple Double?

    We get some nice upside with another triple-double bet, this time with Cavs star point guard, Kyrie Irving. Irving is an interesting bet, as he offers some really nice value, but it’s usually a triple-double threat:

    That’s certainly been the case in these Finals, as Irving hasn’t really come all that close to a double-double, much less this achievement. Irving scores with the best of them, but he’s not a traditional point guard and he doesn’t get enough rebounds on a regular basis to realistically threaten for this.

    Kevin Love – Total 3-Pointers Made

    Love is our first player to look at for total three balls made going into game four, which is interesting considering he’s an elite outside shooter, yet has been awful in this series:

    BetOnline is being pretty generous here, as the 2.5 Total is not asking that much out of Love, while the Moneyline either way is fairly decent. Love only hit one shot in game three, but he almost topped this mark in game two and made it happen in game one.

    Klay Thompson – Total 3-Pointers Made

    Thompson was awful from long range in game one (0 for 5) but has turned it on over that last two games, topping this 3.5 Total both times. The big question is if he’ll do it again in a huge game four in Cleveland:

    I don’t see much reason to go against Thompson here, as his woeful shooting seems to be behind him. He’s getting a ton of open looks with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant drawing the defense’s attention and game one was all about him simply being off.

    Kyrie Irving – Total 3-Pointers Made

    Irving has been surprisingly awful from deep in this series, as he actually went 0-7 in game three from outside and has just five makes from deep in the Finals. Is there anything that makes him a viable bet to hit three deep balls in game four?

    I love this bet, as Irving was horrendously off in his last game, but he’s too good of a shooter to stay down for long. He and the rest of the Cavs will be as aggressive as ever in game four and this is a very low Total for him to attack.

    Stephen Curry – Total 3-Pointers Made

    We get this same bet with Curry, who obviously is a three ball God in the NBA. That hasn’t changed much in this series, as he’s handed in 6, 4 and 5 makes from long range so far in the Finals. Can he get 5+ again in game four, though?

    Cleveland might do all they can to clamp down defensively in this one, but they haven’t gotten any positive results on that end and Curry looks way too comfortable in this series. He’s topped or come close to topping this Total in every game and he’s at least a huge risk to do it again as the Dubs aim to sweep this thing.

    LeBron James – Total 3-Pointers Made

    This is actually an interesting one, as James has not chucked many deep balls with an emphasis on creating and/or getting to the basket in this series. He may need to switch things up to try to get a win in game four, however:

    We haven’t seen James attempt more than six three-pointers in any game in this series, while he hasn’t made more than two outside shots, either. That puts him at risk, but we get a lot of value with the over and James shot well (36%) from outside during the regular season.

    Draymond Green – Total Blocks & Steals

    Draymond Green isn’t a safe bet to score a ton of points and you’re asking a lot for a triple-double bet, but I love this bet where we can combine his blocks and steals for a relatively low Total:

    Green has his hands on so many plays in this series and it’s certainly translated to defensive statistics, with Golden State’s most versatile threat combining for two blocks/steals once and three another time.

    LeBron James – Total Blocks & Steals

    Ditto for King James, who eclipsed this Total in one game and came close in two others. James is just as active as Green on the other end and we all know he’s good or a chasedown block or two at some point:

    Just like Dray, I don’t think this is a given, but these guys are insanely athletic and versatile, so if we’re betting on this, there’s really only one way to go.

    LeBron James – Total Free Throws Made

    James has been shockingly passive in the free throw department in this series, as he is used to averaging 6.5-7 free throws per game but he’s gotten to the line more than six times just once. Is he a safe bet to do it a second time in game four?

    I’m honestly shocked to see James only average 6.5 free throws trips during the regular season, but I expected him to be a lot more aggressive in getting to the line in this series. That, or he’s just been making most of his interior shots and not getting enough calls when they don’t get in.

    Stephen Curry – Total Free Throws Made

    Like we noted ahead of game three, Curry is an awesome shooter and he can nail free throws when he gets to the line, but he really doesn’t get there that often. He gave us a Push last time out, but can we depend on him to knock in 6 freebies in game four?

    Curry is automatic from the charity stripe, but he’s had a weird series with FT numbers, going to the line 0 times in game one, an astonishing 14 times in game two and just five times in game three.

    While drawing fouls isn’t his game, Curry should remain aggressive here and I can see him having to tack on a few late trips if the Dubs are wrapping up a series-clinching win.

    Will Curry Miss a Free Throw?

    Speaking of Stephen Curry’s free throws, we need to take a shot at whether or not he’ll miss one when he gets to the line:

    Curry knocked in 89% of his free throws during the regular season and is a perfect 19-for-19 in the 2017 NBA Finals. Due to his elite free throw shooting and the rarity in which he goes to the line, the odds really aren’t amazing that he misses.

    Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Betting Tips - Predictions, NBA Finals Match Previews, BettingTips4you

    Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Betting Tips & Predictions | NBA Finals Match Previews

    Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors – NBA Finals. 8 June 2017 – 02:00 Bookmaker bet365 will be streaming this match LIVE. You can watch it & bet HERE.

    Match Preview & Betting Tips

    Many fans are probably having a déjà vu when comes to the NBA finals. Last year’s finals have seen Golden State Warriors win the opening two matches at home with dominant +48 score, but eventually the title went to the Cavaliers.

    The first two games in San Francisco have lacked excitement. Turonn Luo’s team will try to bounce back and make another miraculous comeback, but the upcoming game three in Ohio has to end their way.

    Cleveland Cavaliers have become the first team in the history of NBA to overcome the 3 – 1 deficit and win the title last year.

    Kyrie Irving is not playing his best games of the season in the finals, even though his stats are more than decent. 22 points per game and 4.5 assists may be slightly misleading, because the field goal percentage is only 40%.

    Le Bron James has already managed to recover with his teams after losing the opening two games in the playoffs. He is currently at 29 points per game, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

    Golden State Warriors are still undefeated in the playoffs, running the incredible 14 – 0 series. The bookies have marked them as favorites to win the game three as well. The odds at the moment are at 20/33, while chances for the hosts to make the finals more interesting and win the game are priced at 29/20 (decent value bet).

    How To Watch Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors Live?

    1 – Open new betting account with bet365 HERE. You will also get very generous £200 First Deposit Bonus, the biggest available online at the moment! 2 – Click on Live Streaming > Basketball 3 – Enjoy the game!

    Cavaliers vs Warriors betting predictions:

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