Warriors Vs Raptors | NBA Finals Game 1 Expert Picks And Betting Odds
Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors Game 1 Betting Preview
If you like old school basketball with one superstar surrounded by outstanding role players, the Toronto Raptors will give you just that. If you are into the super teams, then the Golden State Warriors are the way to go. In the middle are the sports betting fans rooting for a long and exciting NBA finals between the two best teams in the league.
This series is beyond interesting. One side has one of the best teams in basketball, which most people love to hate. And the other one has the current best player on the planet with Kawhi Leonard. To make it more interesting, the Raptors have home court advantage that even things out a little more. The Toronto fans are a pumped to watch their team win.
The Warriors have been resting for the past nine days, and that scares me a little. Rhythm is essential in any sport, but perhaps it matters a whole lot more in basketball. It does help the team get some players back to 100% health, but in exchange, it takes away momentum.
Golden State ruled Kevin Durant out for Game 1. The Durant story will become relevant only if the Warriors find themselves behind in the series. The team has won five straight games since he got injured and found an interesting joy playing without him. Steph Curry, in particular, is in the zone: averaging 35.8 points per game since KD went down.
It seemed like Curry had something to prove, and well, he’s proving it. Curry jumps out as the favorite to win NBA Finals MVP for the first time in his career. It’s crazy to think the Warriors have been to four straight finals, winning three of them and he has never taken that award home. Sportsbooks listed him at -135 to win MVP. That’s a 57% implied probability of winning it.
The Raptors will be in their first ever NBA Finals. They are the rookies in this scenario, but Kawhi Leonard will be the experienced player carrying the squad. Leonard won the NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and finished as the NBA finals MVP. He’s listed +235 to win another MVP award, with an implied probability of 30%.
2019 NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Odds
|Warriors||-120||-1 (-110)||Over 213.5 (-110)|
|Raptors||+100||+1 (-110)||Under 213.5 (-110)|
Durant Out, Favoring Toronto
Without Kevin Durant in the lineup, the matchup evens out in favor of Toronto. While Golden State plays a team-oriented basketball, the Raptors do need Kawhi Leonard to have a Jordan-like performance in the finals to win. Luckily for them, Kawhi has done pretty much that throughout the playoffs.
Golden State doesn’t have a primary defender that can take Leonard on every possession. The best days of Andre Iguodala as a defender are certainly over, which means Klay Thompson has to step up. I want to be very clear about this, Thompson is an underrated defender, but with that said I don’t think he can slow down Kawhi either.
I have a tough time thinking this series is going to end up in a sweep like last year against the Cavaliers. The Warriors are vulnerable in Game 1 for three specific reasons.
- First, the Raptors have a deeper team. Their defense is one of the best in the league, and with Kawhi leading the offense they are a huge contender.
- Second, they haven’t played a game in nine days, and that matters. Losing that momentum will affect their performance in Game 1.
- Lastly, Toronto knows they need to win this first match to have a decent chance of an upset. Playing at home also gets them pumped up to play harder.
Losing Game 1 will seal their faith. I’m taking the home team with the points.
What’s the play? Raptors +1.
2019 NBA Finals Game 1 Information
- Date: Thursday, May 30, 2018
- Game Time: 9:00 PM ET
- Venue: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
- TV: ABC
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