Written by AccuScore Staff
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2018 NBA Finals: Predictions

A year ago, AccuScore said the Golden State Warriors would win in five games and that’s exactly what happened.

With the NBA Finals tipping-off on Thursday, AccuScore again employed its simulation engine to figure out the chances for each team to win and calculate out what the most likely outcome would be. Well, the Golden State Warriors are an absurd 88.6% to win the series with a 21.6% chance of sweeping the Cavaliers.

Yes, this is a mismatch and far more of a mismatch than the Warriors versus the Rockets was projected to be and eventually turned out to be. Even with LeBron James playing as an all-time great, the Warriors’ array of superstars is far too much for one man to carry a team across the finish line.

The most likely outcome in the 2018 NBA Finals is a Cavaliers’ victory in five games, 24.4%, or six games, 26.8%. On the flip side, the Cavs’ best odds of a series win comes in seven games at 4.1%, meaning Cleveland winning the series would be a massive upset.

Game 1 Expert Picks: Spreads/Totals/Player Props

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Without LeBron
To highlight the importance of LeBron James, our computer also ran the simulations without James to determine the impact a player of his caliber would have on the series. If LeBron wasn’t on the Cavaliers, the Warriors’ likelihood jumps to 95.4% with the most likely outcome a sweep at 32.3%. Without James, the Cavs’ chances of winning are in less than half.

Without Steph Curry
If James is playing and Stephen Curry was to sit out the series, Golden State is still the favorite because of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, but the Warriors’ odds of winning drop dramatically to 68.7% with the series projected to extend to six or seven games. The Cavs are still not likely to win the series, but the prospects are far more realistic without Curry on the court draining three-pointers.


Of course, both LeBron and Steph are playing, so the Cavs are facing long odds. To put the reality of the discrepancy into focus, the Warriors are almost two times more likely to sweep the Cavaliers than Cleveland is to win the series—and that’s with LeBron healthy. More than 50% of simulations have the Warriors winning in either five or six games, with the series going six games edging out a repeat of 2017’s five-game “gentleman’s sweep.”

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