The point on Game 1 of the NBA Final has reached a historic level.
The Golden State Warriors are 12.5-point favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the biggest score in an NBA final since the 1991 playoffs. And the line was still growing in the hours that led to Game 1.
On Thursday morning, several sports books had already relocated the Golden State to -13
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Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers were 12-point outsiders to Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and a Moloch of the Los Angeles Lakers Dairy 1 of the 2001. Iverson dropped 48 on the Lakers, leading the Sixers to victory in overtime.
It is now LeBron James's turn to play the role of the epic outsider. There were only three more finals games with double-digit point spreads. The Cavs are the biggest outsiders of all, but Cleveland has its share of believers.
"We have not accepted any bets on the Warriors [in Game 1]," said Jason Simbal, vice president of risk at CG Technology ESPN on Thursday morning. "We took over 100 at the Cavs."
Well, a lot of this imbalance has more to do with the high price the bettors have to pay to support the heavily favored Golden State than with strong conviction in the Cavs. You have to bet $ 100 to win $ 10 and win the Warriors to win directly.
Take a trick in Cleveland, and you have a chance to get $ 700 – if James leads the Cavs Point-wise would be the biggest NBA finals in the last 27 years.
Cleveland faces similar chances to win the series. The Cavs are 7-1 on most sportsbooks. Only Iversons 76ers in 2001 were major underdogs in the series. Philadelphia was 15-1 to beat the Lakers; Los Angeles won in five games.
The Warriors stand at -1,000 to win the series and are attracting much larger bets. On Thursday morning, there were nine times more bets on the Cavs to win the series than on the Warriors. However, the money is a different story.
"The average bet on the Warriors [to win the series] is $ 3,400," Simbal said. "The average bet on the cavs is $ 120."
Golden State wins in five games is the most likely result, according to odds at the Westgate SuperBook. The Warriors defeated the Cavs in five games in the final of last year.
On Wednesday afternoon, the SuperBook had taken eight bets on Cleveland, which won in a sweep at odds of 300-1.