Sportress of Blogitude

Warriors open as overwhelming favorites over Cavaliers in NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet up the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season, setting up a showdown where familiarity presumably will breed contempt with the Warriors having won two of the previous three titles.

That said, while a Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals rematch was viewed as nearly a foregone conclusion — save for perhaps the Houston Rockets usurping Golden State in the Western Conference — the oddsmakers in Las Vegas don’t necessarily see the match-up as a competitive one.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas opened Golden State as a -1,000 favorite to win the best-of-seven series, which tips off Thursday, via ESPN. The Warriors are the largest Finals favorites in at least 16 seasons, according to odds database Sportsoddshistory.com.

The Warriors punched their ticket to another shot at an NBA title with a 101-92 victory over the Houston Rockets Monday night in Game 7 at Toyota Center, a showdown in which the home team when stunningly cold from the three-point line in a complete meltdown.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, once again relied upon LeBron James’ excellence to reach the Finals once again. It cannot be understated that the Warriors boast an overwhelmingly superior roster than that of the Cavaliers. That said, Warriors superstar Stephen Curry railed against the narrative that James is doing it all on his own.

“I hate when people say that,” Curry said. “They’re NBA players, and yeah they’re new and whatnot, and Bron’s amazing, he played an unbelievable playoff run to date and just willed his team to his eighth straight Finals. It’s unbelievable to think about the consistency and longevity and the level of greatness he has shown in the Eastern Conference.

“Shoutout to him, it was an amazing performance, but don’t disrespect the other guys out there. They fought hard too.”

Game 1 tips off Thursday night at Oracle Arena. While the Cavaliers may be facing long odds entering the series, it warrants mentioning that James has faced similar doubts from oddsmakers, having been the underdog in seven of nine Finals appearances, with James-led teams winning three titles.