Bing Predicts: Pro Basketball Finals

While 28 of the 30 pro basketball teams are thinking about future draft needs and other off-season plans, the Golden State and Cleveland teams are thinking about tonight’s rematch and the set of games in the coming weeks that will determine this year’s champions. And just like the rest of the season, Bing is following right along with predictions for who will take home the trophy.

Predicted champions

Consistent with what we shared prior to the playoffs, the Bing Predicts models continue to show that Golden State will beat Cleveland in 5 games, with 3 home game wins (Games 1, 2, and 5) and a split in Cleveland for Games 3 and 4.

Playoffs so far

With the 14-playoff series completed thus far, Bing Predicts is 75 percent correct on calculating all of the post-season games individually—that’s 59 accurate projections versus 20 miscalculations. From our pre-tournament bracket, our models correctly predicted that Toronto would need the full seven games to win their first round series over Indiana and then their second round series over Miami, which was of particular interest since Toronto had never won a seven-game series before this year. The models, in correctly picking Cleveland over Toronto, just missed the number of games in the conference finals as Bing expected Toronto to push Cleveland to seven games before falling short. Cleveland, in general, outperformed our models throughout, finishing each series exactly one game faster than we thought.

We were nearly dead-on with our predictions regarding Golden State, as we had them winning in four over Houston, then five in the second round, and finally by seven in the conference finals while they actually needed five, five, and seven games, respectively. The controversial non-call end of Game 3 prevented a sweep against Houston. Had the sweep happened, it would have matched Bing Predicts exactly.

As with last year, Bing’s models picked Golden State before the tournament. Last year, a much smaller proportion of the public agreed with our pick pre-tournament, but this year’s Golden State team has had to battle injuries and a comeback from down three games to one against Oklahoma City to reach the finals.

We hope you enjoy the finals and check back at for our win probabilities for each game.

- Walter Sun, Bing Predicts Team Lead

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