What Are the Odds that the Cavaliers Can Come Back from 3-0 Down?

What Are the Odds that the Cavaliers Can Come Back from 3-0 Down?

Despite two of the three games being competitive, the Cleveland Cavaliers still find themselves down three games to none to the Golden State Warriors.  You didn’t need to click on this article to know that the odds of the Cavaliers coming back are very slim. But just how slim are they?

Here are a few ways of looking at it with mathematical and historical data:

If you considered that the chances of winning a game for each side are 50 percent, then you would do .5^4 = 6.25 or 6.25% odds.

So all things even, the Cavaliers would have a little over a 6 percent shot at still winning the NBA Finals. Obviously, this is the real world, and all things aren’t even. There’s a reason why the Cavs haven’t won a game in the Finals yet. It’s because (most likely) the Warriors are a better team than the Cavs.

In the history of the NBA, there have been 131 best of seven series that have begun 3-0.  Exactly ZERO teams have made the comeback from 3-0 down, and a total of three teams of the 131 have forced a Game 7. That’s right around 2.3 percent.

So forget the basketball history and look at American sports as a whole…

Series that have began 3-0 Winners
NBA 131 0
NHL 186 4
MLB 36 1
Total 353 5

So in total, we have five winners that have made the 3-0 turnaround out of a total of 352 chances, 5/353 = 1.42%. So if you consider all sports to be equal, (which of course, they are not) then the Cavs have about 70-1 odds of pulling this series out.

Vegas Odds are currently at -20000 to bet on Golden State and +7500 to bet on Cleveland. For people who are new to gambling odds that means that you would have to bet $20000 on the Warriors to win $100 right now. Conversely, a $100 bet would get you $7500 if the Cavaliers pull off the miracle.

It seems like a nice payday, but that’s only 75-1 odds on something that hasn’t occurred in now 130 occurrences and counting. In other words, it’s a sucker bet, unless you think that LeBron James has yet to pull off his most grand act of all.


photo credit: http://www.ftw.usatoday.com

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