NBA Finals Betting Picks – Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Just in case you forgot, the Golden State Warriors are still in the NBA playoffs. Their quick work of the Blazers in the West Final left the Dubs inactive for 10 days while the Toronto Raptors were working their way back from a 0-2 deficit to knock off the top team in the league.

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The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the fifth straight season and will tangle with the newbies when the championship series gets underway with Game 1 on Thursday night.

Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors

Date and Time: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 9 p.m. ET

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

Opening NBA Odds: Toronto -1.5, O/U 215

Warriors at Raptors TV Coverage: ABC

Odds Analysis

The Warriors are heavy favorites at -275 to win the series, yet they opened as a 1-point dog in the opener of their fifth straight Finals. The Dubs played as a dog four times this postseason winning the last two games outright. They are 2-2 SU and ATS when getting points. Experience will be a factor, and the Warriors have plenty of that. They’ve lost a series opening game just once in their Finals run. However, this will be just the second time they’ve opened a series on the road in that span. They beat Houston in Game of last year’s Western Conference Final.

As much respect as the Warriors get, let’s remember that the Raptors had the second-best record during the regular season and just knocked off the team that had the most wins. Handing the Bucks their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Raps one-upped that by taking four in a row, thoroughly frustrating the Bucks with an intense defensive effort. Milwaukee led the NBA in scoring during the regular year, yet the Raps held them to less than 102 points per game over the final four of the East Final.


Without Kevin Durant for at least the opener, his absence will be felt in this game more than in any other. The Warriors haven’t missed KD since he went down with a calf injury, winning five straight, but they haven’t faced a team as deep and talented as the Raptors. Let’s face it, the Blazers were beat up and overmatched. Stephen Curry has taken over with KD on the shelf and he’s had a brilliant career against Toronto, averaging nearly 29 points in 17 games with the Dubs going 15-2 in those outings.

The biggest concern for the Warriors has to be the layoff between games. They haven’t played since sweeping the Blazers on March 20, giving them exactly 10 days between games. That’s a long layoff no matter how you slice it. They can practice and scrimmage all they want, but nothing replicates game action, and having too much time can often be counterproductive


This is the first Finals appearance for the Raptors, who ended several years of playoff failures by storming back to beat the Bucks. And they can thank Kawhi Leonard for that. Brought in for the sole purpose of getting the Raptors to this point, Leonard has done that and he has more to prove. The MVP of the 2014 Finals saw his Spurs career essentially come to an end in the 2017 West Final against the Dubs when he was injured in Game 1. He missed the remainder of that series and played just nine games the following year.

Leonard has been the focal point of the team all season and he’s delivered in the playoffs averaging over 31 points per game with 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists. His offense has been spectacular, but all Nick Nurse talks about is his defense. His teammates took Kawhi’s lead and shut down the efficient Bucks. And those same teammates picked up their play on the other end of the floor. Toronto’s bench has been an asset all season and the group proved its worth to take down Milwaukee.

Bet Warriors at Raptors at

This figures to be the most intense series the Warriors have been in this postseason. The Raptors won both regular season meetings, hammering the Dubs at Oracle without Leonard. It took overtime to win at home when the Warriors were without Curry and Draymond Green. But beating the Warriors isn’t something the Raptors have done recently, so they will be confident knowing it can be done. And it’s critical for the Raps to get a fast start and take advantage of KD’s absence. Toronto may not win the series, but a victory in Game 1 will go a long way to at least giving them a chance.

NBA Finals Score Prediction: Raptors 109, Warriors 105

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