NBA Game 6 Preview


It's safe to say this year's NBA Finals has been somewhat streaky when it comes to the so-called home-court advantage:

The home sides won/covered the first three games of this series; the road teams won/covered the last two games of this NBA Finals set and now you wonder what's in store this evening when the Golden State Warriors - a 2-point road underdog - go for the repeat against the host Cleveland Cavaliers.

Note the playoff history for both teams in home/away scenarios:

Golden State enters tonight's clash with a 4-5 ATS (against the spread) mark in road playoff games this year and, when the Warriors are road dogs this post-season, they have covered two-of-three games including that 108-97 triumph in Game 4 (see our chart below).

Cleveland heads into this evening's game at 7-2 ATS at home and also 7-2 ATS as home betting favorites. The only other non-cover home game for the Cavaliers this post-season - aside from the aforementioned Game 4 of these Finals - occurred in Cleveland's playoff-opening 106-101 non-over victory against 11.5-point underdog Detroit.

In all, the Warriors are 14-8 versus the vig this post-season (a solid .636 winning rate) while the Cavaliers are 11-8 ATS overall in these playoffs (a .579 winning percentage).

One final pointspread note here: NBA Playoff Betting Favorites are a collective 49-33-0 spreadwise with two pick 'em games (a .598 winning percentage).

NBA FINALS GAME 6: GOLDEN STATE at CLEVELAND - Warriors lead series 3-2; 9 p.m. ET, ABC

Think about it for a moment or two:

Here we have a series where two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry has played well below expectations - both his own and the public at large - and yet his G-State Warriors remain just one win away from back-to-back championships. Save for Curry's stirring 38-point performance in Game 4, he's been spotty at best as a shooter and his defense has left a whole lot to be desired, right?

Well, now Curry has been hearing the criticism in recent days and he - maybe more than anyone else on the floor - has the benefit of nearly three full days to recover from his lackluster 8-of-21 field-goal showing in Game 5 and one would think if he's gonna have a bust-out game for the ages it would come tonight ... don't 'ya think?

Gotta believe the Cavaliers feel the same way and so fully expect LeBron James to shadow Curry from start to finish here in Game 6 and so that's a major storyline tonight and so is the loss of Warriors' big man Andrew Bogut (hyperextended knee) who won't play again this post-season.

Hey, that's no small thing as Bogut can be an inside force as rim protector, rebounder and underrated passer and so the return of bad boy Draymond Green (see one-game suspension served) is critical 'cause he likely needs to play 40-plus minutes for Steve Kerr's crew and he better be a stat-sheet stuffer, or else!

One major key for the Cavs here:

Don't stand around and expect "The King" and sidekick G Kyrie Irving to score 41 points apiece once again as they did in Game 5 - okay, both guys are capable of an offensive explosion but if Tyronn Lue's club wants to force a Game 7 on Father's Day then the likes of J.R. Smith (3-of-9 FG shooting for just 10 points in Game 5) and/or F Kevin Love (2 points in 33 minutes of play in Game 5) must bang home some big baskets. Tell us right now that Smith and Love are gonna combine for just a dozen points between 'em here and we'll obligated to say "season's over"!

Hey, keep in mind that teams with three games-to-one series leads are 32-and-oh lifetime in NBA Finals ... if the Cavs win on their own home floor here tonight than that stat's gonna hang in Golden State's brain cells all weekend long.

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