After trailing 2-1 in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors appear to have weathered the storm. And with the series shifting back to Oakland on Sunday for Game 5, it really looks like only one possible winner now.
And it’s Steve Kerr who might be about to emerge with his reputation enhanced the most if his side close out the Cleveland Cavaliers over the next two games and pick up their first title in two generations.
In many ways, the Warriors coach’s style on the sidelines in Game 4 reminded us exactly what he was like as a player. It was all about trusting in the supporting cast, with Andre Iguodala playing the role of Kerr by coming off the bench to hit big shots to remind everyone that it’s not always about the stars.
It was a game for small but effective contributions, even his own, by lying gloriously about his starting line-up and the decision to swap out Andrew Bogut. But it resulted in the Cavs looking worn down. Even with James’ usual heroics, hitting the road again is probably the last thing they needed.
As things stand, it wouldn’t be a shock if James becomes the first MVP since Jerry West to come from a losing Finals team, and he’s still great value at 2.75 to see off Stephen Curry.
But with David Blatt seeming ready to stick with his short rotation, fourth quarters may continue to be a problem for Cleveland, with the Dubs worth a punt on a -1.5 line in the period at 1.96
If the 103-82 win of Thursday maintains the trend of the past three games, then another low scorer could be in prospect with the same points total available at 3.05
And with Kerr proving as smart as his talk and the Warriors rolling once more, then it wouldn’t be a shock now if we see them run out 4-2 winners, available at 2.20, and lift the trophy.
Best bet: Go under 190.5 total points in Game 5 of Golden State-Cleveland at 2.48
EuroBasket Women: the Russians are back
EuroBasket Women is under way and with a few teams already over-achieving or under-performing, there are a few nuggets to keep an eye on, especially in the opening round.
France and Spain are joint favourites at 2.50 but Russia, although unproven, are worth taking an adventurous chance on at 7.00.
But based on the opening few days, go with Montenegro to finish in the top three, available now at 7.00.
Bet on NBA Finals: Game 5