With all due respect to epic rivalry battles of the past, such as Boston vs Los Angeles or Chicago vs New York, there’s a new “here and now” fight for NBA domination. Younger than most, historically speaking, Cleveland and Golden State are engulfed in what has become one of the biggest feuds in sports. That Championship fight heats up for Act III as the Cavaliers and Warriors will battle for the 2017 NBA title.
Cleveland vs Golden State Stats
Largely an afterthought in the early days, due to the Cavs being new to the league, the Cleveland vs Golden State rivalry dates back to their first regular season fight on October 17, 1970. The 1970-71 NBA season was the Cavaliers inaugural year in the Association and the Warriors final season based in San Francisco. The West Crew dominated the first 22 seasons of this feud as the Warriors went 38-23 even though the average scores (108-106) of the 61 meetings were surprisingly close.
Cleveland turned the table on Golden State, over the next 18 seasons, as the Cavaliers dominated the Warriors during a 26-9 run. Cleveland outscored Golden State by a 3571-3379 count which was good for a 102-96 winning margin over those 35 matchups. The Warriors were especially inept when they made a cross-country trip to “The 216” where the final scores averaged 103-92 over 18 matches on Cleveland’s home court. The regular season edge shifted once again starting in 2011.
Prior to King James ballyhooed 2014 return to Believeland - Stephen Curry & Co cranked the Cavs by a 732-676 margin (105-97) and posted a 6-1 record. Those 103 duels were an appetizer to the main course that was first served up when James and Curry began clashing head-to-head in 2015. Golden State holds a 4-2 record, in six regular season fights, but these two love fanning the rivalry flames (by piling on) as GSW and CLE both posted blowouts - by 34 and 35 points respectively.
Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Finals
Just as important as poundings, these teams have stoked their feud with close contests – that have played out on basketball biggest stages. Similar to Thanksgiving Day in the NFL, Christmas Day is the grandest NBA regular season stage. The Cavs and Warriors have been on that marque two years in a row now as Curry & Crew won 89-83 at Oracle Arena in 2015 prior to Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving draining a 13-foot shot with three second remaining in the Cavs 109-108 squeaker win at Quicken Loans Arena in 2016. With the top two NBA players - this rivalry is officially on fire at this point.
First season battles have been epic at times, but NBA Final fights have been watershed moments of this East vs West war on the floor. It’s been almost two year since Cleveland and Golden State first battled for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The series opened with pair of OT contests, which were split in Oakland, prior to the Cavs winning Game 3 at home. The NoCal Crew took full control though as Cleveland could not overcome injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, losing three straight games by a 104 -90 average final score. This was the second GSW NBA title (1975, 2015).
Golden State won Games 1, 2 and 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals and appeared headed to back-to-back titles. Bettors who backed GWS with their NBA playoff picks got hooped as the Warriors wagon lost its wheels and The King and his Court stormed back with three unanswered wins. The Cavs whacked the Warriors 320-287 (107-96) during their historic 3-game sweep. Not only were The King led Cavaliers the first team in NBA Finals history to erase a 3-1 deficit but they also ended a 52–year Championship drought in the City of Cleveland. Now they meet in an epic Trilogy Match.
NBA Championship Finals Betting Trends
Continuing their assault on the record books, Golden State is trending as perfectly as possible right now. After eight seasons of futile title-chasing in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant picked an excellent time to cruise into California as he has helped the Warriors become the first team to enter the NBA Finals on a perfect 12-0 playoff roll. It's been like Pro’s vs Joe’s as Curry & Co swept away Portland, Utah and San Antonio, by a 118-102 average margin, during their first three postseason series.
Cleveland blazed an equally destructive path, though not perfect, in the East as they have posted a 12-1 record. The Cavaliers made very short work of the Indiana Pacers and Canada’s own Toronto Raptors with sweeps before they dropped Game 3 of their series with the Boston Celtics. The Rock “n” Roll Capital Crew crushed the Celtics by a 247-190 margin in the first two games and 247- 201 over the final two matches. Game 1 of Act III goes at 9:00 PM ET on June 1, 2017 in Oakland, CA.
On a roll like no other, Golden State is consensus NBA title chalk from a best price of (-241) to a worst value of (-284) across the CSB recommended sportsbooks in our Top Five table. Perhaps partly due to their defense, which slept-walked through the regular season, Cleveland is a huge pup with an odds spread from (+185) to (+239). The starters from both teams are healthy, and well rested, which bodes well for a Fantastic Final. Home court advantage has us calling Golden State as the Champs with the (+300) Bet365 seven-game series price. Tell us who you like to capture Larry on Facebook and wager smart with these top rated NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL betting specialists.