Vegas Play of the Day: NBA Finals game 1

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Ron Schwane / Assocaited Press

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) drives past Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown (7) during the first half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Friday, May 25, 2018, in Cleveland.

Thu, May 31, 2018 (12:57 p.m.)

We’ve entered the fourth season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.

Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. A participant's failure to place a bet on their scheduled day results in a $200 bankroll penalty.

Ray Brewer won back-to-back titles in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-15.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors over 214.5 points: $550 to win $500

It’s jarring enough to see an NBA Finals total trend downward, let alone in the first game, when the masses are typically excited and wagering on more and more points.

The action on the under is partly a symptom of the perception that Cleveland — which is more than a 10-to-1 favorite in some sports books — has no chance. That’s a perception I share, but that doesn’t mean LeBron James won’t come out motivated and find ways to score — or even find ways to put his mediocre supporting cast in positions to score.

The average total in nine games between Cleveland Golden State since the 2016-2017 season is 225 points. A double-digit drop is too significant.

Neither the Warriors nor the Cavaliers are as strong defensively as they were last year. Cleveland has been historically bad at stopping opponents, and the Warriors have regressed to the middle of the league rankings.

Look for Golden State to score in the 120s, with Cleveland also managing to break the century mark in tonight’s Game 1.

Current Standings: Keefer (33-27-1, $10,716), Granger (17-16, $9,059), Grimala (16-22, $5,965), Brewer (26-29-1, $4,270)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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