Conor McGregor is a legendary UFC fighter. Not many combatants can take a year off from fighting, announce their next bout, and instantly be established as the overwhelming odds-on favorite in the UFC 257 picks. Yet that's exactly how The Notorious one rolls. He will headline UFC 257 on Jan. 23, facing Dustin Poirier in a rematch of former UFC world lightweight champs. McGregor is the -235 favorite in the bout.
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Warriors Favored To Deny LeBron James 3rd NBA Title
No team since the 1991 Chicago Bulls has won an NBA title without having a single player on the roster with championship experience but the Golden State Warriors are -200 favorites to win their first NBA title since 1975 against Cleveland, which has never won an NBA championship or any title in a major sport since 1964. The Cavs are +170 on the Bovada series line. For Thursday's Game 1 in Oakland, the Warriors are 5.5-point favorites.
Need To Know
Golden State has snapped a 40-year NBA Finals drought, the longest stretch between two NBA Finals appearances by any franchise in NBA history. Golden State is the first team since the 1997 Utah Jazz to reach The Finals without using a single player who had previous Finals experience.
Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr and Cleveland’s David Blatt are set to become the first head coaches to meet in The Finals in their first year at the helm since 1947 — the league’s first season — when Eddie Gottlieb’s Philadelphia Warriors faced off against Harold Olsen’s Chicago Stag
Of course Golden State's Steph Curry is the NBA MVP this season and it's the 31st team a regular-season MVP has made it to the NBA Finals. Twenty-two of the past 30 times the regular-season MVP's team won. The last: LeBron James in 2013. King James is in the Finals for the fifth straight year and sixth time overall. He is 2-3 in those.
Cavs Are Beaten Up
LeBron is going to have to be extraordinary for his team to win this series. The Cavaliers have been without Kevin Love since the second quarter of Game 4 in Boston and without Kyrie Irving through parts of the Conference Semis and Conference Finals. All LeBron has done is turn up his game to compensate for the other two-thirds of Cleveland’s big three.
Against the Hawks in the East Finals, LeBron nearly averaged a triple-double at 30.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 9.3 assists through the four-game sweep. LeBron was still nursing a pair of nagging injuries when the squads hooked up in Oakland, but was ready to rumble in their matchup at home on February 26 – leading both teams with a season-high 42 points to go with 11 boards, five assists, three steals and a block in 36 minutes of action.
Aside from his struggles from the perimeter, especially from beyond the arc (where James is shooting just 18 percent), James is still among the postseason’s top three in scoring (27.6, 3rd) and assists (8.3, 3rd) while ranking fourth with nine double-doubles.
Golden State won a team-record 39 games at home this year -- joining the 2008-09 Cavaliers as one of just seven teams in NBA history to do so. The Warriors led the league in point-differential at home, outscoring their guests by an average of 14.6 points per victory, five points better than the second-place Spurs. Like the Cavaliers, the Warriors have dropped just one home game during the playoffs, a Game 2 loss to the Grizzlies in the Second Round. Cleveland is 6-1 on the road in the playoffs and won 14 of its final 15 regular-season games against Western Conference teams.
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