Updated NBA Finals Odds: The Cavs Don't Have Much of a Shot
Our algorithm has favored the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals from end to end.
The Dubs opened the series with a 78.76% to win the title before the opening tip of Game 1, and that went all the way up to 88.38% when they took the 1-0 series lead. Even when the Cavaliers took Games 2 and 3 and a favorable 2-1 series lead, the Warriors still held onto a narrow 53.01% chance of winning it all. Yes, they have been that good this year that our algorithm still favored them when their opponent was two games away from the title with two contests remaining on their home floor.
When the Warriors took Game 4 in Cleveland, their odds went back into convincing territory, sitting at 73.03% going into last night's Game 5. Now, Golden State has a 3-2 series lead after a 104-91 Game 5 victory and two chances left to finish off the Cavaliers coming up this week. With that, our algorithm is as convinced about which team will become the 2015 NBA champs as its ever been:
Cleveland Cavaliers win in 7: 12.89%
Cleveland Cavaliers win series: 12.89%
Golden State Warriors win in 6: 54.61%
Golden State Warriors win in 7: 32.5%
Golden State Warriors win series: 87.11%
Down two superstars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and up against a team that has pushed its way into "all-time great" conversations, this series has been all about defying the odds for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even so, LeBron's incredible 40 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists were not enough to get it done last night. Even his otherworldly series averages of 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 45.6 minutes per contest haven't kept the Warriors from winning three of the five games, including the last two.
Game 6 is back in Cleveland, but the Cavs will need some kind of miracle to keep a now clicking Warriors team from winning one of the next two. Especially if Stephen Curry's 37 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and seven triples from last night end up being an appetizer of what's to come.
The Warriors are on the verge of winning their first title in 40 years. Can the Cavaliers dig down and defy the odds one last time, or will their franchise have to wait yet another year for a shot at their first title?