The odds favor a Warriors sweep tonight in Cleveland during game four of the NBA Finals. Up three games to none on the defending champs, extending their perfect postseason run to 15, Golden State now looks to eliminate LeBron James and the Cavs and win their second title in three years.
Las Vegas oddsmakers say there’s little chance it doesn’t happen.
The Westgate SuperBook has Golden State giving Cleveland 6.5 points on the spread for tonight’s game. As for the series price, the line is at a “we don’t want any more bets on the Warriors” at -20000, Cavs +4000.
To put that into dollars, that means a $1,000 wager on the Warriors winning at least one more game would return $5. The same bet on the seemingly implausible chances of Cleveland running off four straight to repeat would return $40,000.
While Las Vegas, and any basketball fan in their right mind, believes this Finals is over, the players aren’t ready to concede one way or another.
“We’ll see what happens,” James said on Thursday. “Obviously you never know what’s going to happen, but as it stands right now, they look pretty good.”
Lose One for the Owners
Should Golden State pull off the sweep and become the first NBA team to plow through the playoffs unscathed as the odds expect them to, the team would lose millions of dollars. ABC, which is televising the highly rated Finals, would also miss out on substantial ad revenue should the series go less than seven.
Oracle Arena’s sold-out crowds generates about $12.1 million in ticket revenue per NBA Finals game. The league gets a 25 percent cut, leaving Golden State ownership with around $10.125 million. The team also gets a percentage of resale fees on Ticketmaster.
Add in food and beverage sales, and owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are collectively missing out on over $10.2 million per game. Should the series have gone seven, as it did in 2016, the Warriors would have once again hosted games five and seven in the Bay Area.
The odds are slim that’s happening in 2017. Considering the Warriors haven’t played in a game five this year, the owners have already lost tens of millions of dollars from unnecessary games.
But of course, the billionaires aren’t likely fretting over the lost revenue, and would rather win the Larry O’Brien Trophy in any manner possible.
James, MVP Odds
LeBron’s contract with Cleveland runs through the next two seasons, but there’s already speculation that he might be looking to skip town for a second time in his career. Gossip reports say the King is looking at Los Angeles as a potential next stop, but as of now, the rumors are just that.
As for the 2017 NBA Finals MVP odds, it’s unquestionably Kevin Durant’s to lose. He’s at 1-33 at Paddy Power, followed by teammate Steph Curry at 13-1. Some believe LeBron should win the title despite his team losing, but those odds are long at 40-1.