Will Game 4 be the “Splash Brothers” final exclamation mark on the 17-18 season?
NBA player prop bets at Bovada are listed for Game 4, but rather than take an ultimately holistic approach toward these bets, we instead are going to focus on three players and their impact, for the purpose of laying eight prop bets using Bovada’s tiered betting odds for player scoring.
It begins with the high, seemingly absurd totals (e.g., 52.5 points for LeBron James) and works down until it reaches even odds, with the figure being roughly the player’s scoring average….You’ll see.
All odds c/o Bovada.lv
Klay Thompson over/under 33.5 points (O +600; U -1000)
Klay Thompson over/under 26.5 points (O +275; U -350)
Klay Thompson over/under 19.5 points (O -115; U -115)
Klay Thompson remains the most enigmatic player in this series. In Game 3, he shot just 4 of 11 from the field in scoring just 10 points, but Kevin Durant’s offensive assault took a lot of the wind out of both Thompson’s and Curry’s individual sails. We expect that motif to change, as teams do adapt and adjust, and this game we expect to see both Thompson and Curry with more shot attempts.
However, projecting Thompson to the realm of one of his “really big nights” or seeing him score more than 33.5 is pretty unlikely. But he could manage to fall just shy of 30–if he gets sufficient attempts. We do not dislike the idea of a small wager on “over” 26.5 points, but feel the “over” on 19.5 points is the better bet, and where the betting should be concentrated for Thompson. The payout isn’t as juicy (EVEN odds for both over and under at -115), but Thompson is due for one of his better nights after attempting “only” 11 field goals in Game 3. So, OVER on 19.5 points; and UNDER on 26.5 if you’re feeling a little frisky.
Stephen Curry over/under 41.5 points (O +650; U -1200)
Stephen Curry over/under 34.5 points (O +250; U -325)
Stephen Curry over/under 26.5 points (O -115; U -115)
Many feel Kevin Durant passed Stephen Curry in the MVP balloting race for the Finals, and that may be the case. As we noted in discussing Thompson, however, we think the game plan shifts to a more “Splash Brothers” focused approach than feeding Durant 20-plus shots again in Game 4. That said if the Cavaliers cannot find a way to SLOW Durant, and the Warriors see and know this, it is just as possible that we see a repeat of Game 3.
Just going with the “teams adjust” attitude leads us to thinking Curry manages to drop a 30-piece tonight. We still do not like the over on 34.5 points, but the OVER on 26.5 is appealing, particularly since Curry struggled last game. It seems unlikely he comes out and lays another egg in an elimination game.
LeBron James over/under 52.5 points (O +600; U -1000)
LeBron James over/under 37.5 points (O -115; U -115)
LeBron James has to be tired by this point, and if the Cavaliers do not come out and show signs of life early—that is to say, stay in the game in the first half, it is conceivable that James shuts his season down to save his legs for his next team. He played 47 of 48 minutes in Game 3, and attempted 28 shots en route to 33 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Without help from his teammates, it is possible we see James simply rest as the Warriors run off with a repeat title. It is anticlimactic, even boring, to say that James is going to fold up his tent before the game is over, but one can only take so much.
Then, too, there is the counter-argument that James saves his absolute best for elimination games. We are going with fatigue winning this war, however, and even saying he goes UNDER 37.5 points on this prop, though the Cavaliers really need 50-plus from this generational superstar.
James did rally Cleveland from a 1-3 deficit in 2016, but he’s now two years older and this playoff run has all but zapped his superhuman strength. Will he still have a good game? Sure, but we expect that “good” to fall somewhere under 37.5 points, if only because he is just exasperated at this point.