NBA Free Picks – June 3, 2018

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Well, JR Smith just blew the under in one of the most publicized gaffs in NBA finals betting and NBA playoff history.  Many are calling Smith’s brain fart one of the worst mental mistake in NBA playoff history, and we have trouble finding others that can unseat it as a crowning moment.  Whether he didn’t know the score or was simply, “Just Klownin,” we didn’t find him very funny.  The Cavaliers laughed away a perfectly good contrarian under play in our Free NBA picks for Game 1.

Things like this happen and unfortunately, it’s part of gambling every day.  We all get our share of late variance as bettors.  This is just another example of whyyou need to manage your bankroll to overcome bad luck.  We never play more than 5 units here at LazyBets because there is variability on every wager.  Even when you’re going after a -200 favorite, catastrophic things can and do happen.  Our over under in Game 1 was just another example of how math can take away the feel of a good bet.

At Lazybets, we’ve found that one thing is consistent: You cannot cheat math and variance.  It’s just part of life.

Even when it seems like you have a sure thing, percentages will happen.  Tom Brady happened in the 7th round of an NFL draft.  Leicester City won the premiere league against teams that were spending over half a billion dollars in payroll.  A 16 seed beat not just a 1 seed, but THE #1 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament…and JR Smith forgot the score.  When you think about all these other examples of variance, Game 1 wasn’t so bad.

If there’s one thing math knows how to do, it’s add to its collection of anomalies.  It’s just so much better when you’re on the right side of one.

Let’s get back on track tonight.

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NBA Finals - Game 2

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

Golden State Leads Series 1-0

Time: Sunday, 7:00 CST

TV: ABC

Spread: Warriors -11.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Cavaliers +520

Point Total: Under 215 (-110)

Bet the Under 215.5 (-110)

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Cavaliers Warriors Free Pick

Kevin Durant looks scared. (He should be)

The career of LeBron James is soo interesting.  There is nothing more perplexing than perhaps the NBA’s greatest ever player being a +725 underdog to win it all before Game 1 of the FINALS.  Those odds have now increased to +1025 after the Warriors Game 1 win.

Outside of the Cavaliers Reddit (r/clevelandcavs) you wouldn’t have found many people to back the Cavs to win this at all, even with the great odds.  Warriors Reddit (r/warriors) seems to think its had this thing won since game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. 

And yet, Lebron almost won a Game 1 where he was picked by Vegas to be a 12.5 point underdog.  He almost did it all by himself.

The Warriors did everything they could to stop him.  They switched centers onto him.  Steph Curry took more than a few cracks at hm with the help of double teams.

At the end of the contest, LeBron played an eventful 48 minutes.  He filled the stat sheet with 19-32 field goals shooting, 8 redounds, 8 assists, and only 2 personal fouls.  It was his first ever 50 point game in the playoffs.

Steve Kerr said what everyone else was thinking when he addressed the media with a “We got lucky.”

“Sometimes you need a little luck” said Draymond Green.  “It’s good to be lucky sometimes, so I’ll take it.”

Pretty breathtaking don’t you think?

As if you already didn't have enough reasons to make fun of JR Smith.  Here is some very interesting tattoo work.

If you are still one of the LeBron haters, set aside your inferiority complex and understand this.  If it hadn’t been for some very lucky bounces in the Warriors’ favor, a rare George Hill missed free throw, and a very bad decision by an esteemed NBA veteran in JR Smith, this would be a different series.  We’d be looking at a 1-0 Cavs lead in this and a must win game...for the Warriors.

Instead we head into Game 2 par for the course.  Vegas has the perception that everything went right for the Warriors in game 1 and has them as a 11.5-point favorite even though the Cavs defense was able to stifle the high scoring Warriors for much of the game.

Vegas may be considering emotional exhaustion in this one.  While it looks very similar to Game 1’s spread, the Cavaliers hung with the Warriors and proved more than capable of providing a game that’s close.  The Cavs should be a 6 to 8-point underdogs on the road in this situation, especially if Game 1’s defensive statistics hold up.  Despite that, Vegas is giving an extra 3.5 points in perceived edge to the Warriors in this one. 

We didn’t give the Cavaliers much of a chance in this series, but we’re starting to change our tune.  Perhaps the Cavaliers are emotionally exhausted.  The questions around JR certainly aren’t helping the franchise.  On the other hand, the Cavaliers were right there on the precipice of winning in Game 1 on the road of a 7-game series.  To me, that’s validation and not a reason to get discouraged.

Kevin Durant wasn’t very good in Game 1.  Sure, he scored quite a few points with 26, but there were stretches of the game where he couldn’t be found. You must question the effort of KD in game 1.  Disappearing acts like the one displayed in the opener will challenge the Warriors to put down the manhandling that the public is expecting in this finals matchup.

Let’s look at the trends.  According to the NBA team over at Covers.com, the Cavaliers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6.  The Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last five against Cleveland’s Central division.  The under is 8-3-2 in the last 13 meetings between these two opposite conference rivals.  The under is also 7-1 in the last 8 for the Warriors when their opponent allows over 100 points in a previous contest.

The consensus for the NBA matchup has 66% of public money backing the Cleveland Cavaliers and 64% of public money favoring the over.

We’re still hot with over under, but it’s not our main pick in this game.  We have two for this contest.  We would play them both individually and as a 2-game parlay.

Take the Under 215 (-110).  Also take LeBron James plus the 11.5 points and a Cavaliers cover.  We would parlay them both as this seems to be an extreme over-reaction to what the media has funneled as an overblown JR Smith/Cavaliers rift.

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Make sure to stay tuned for more daily free picks and all of the hot sports betting legalization news!

Bet the Cavaliers +11.5 (-110)

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