It will be a madhouse at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night as the Toronto Raptors host their first-ever NBA Finals game. They are slight favorites on the NBA odds for Game 1 against the two-time champion Golden State Warriors.
Warriors vs Raptors 2019 NBA Finals Game 1 Odds, Preview & Pick
- When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Scotiabank Arena
- TV: ABC
- Stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: Golden State / Toronto
- 2019 NBA Finals Odds: Raptors -1 (total 213.5)
The Raptors swept the season-series for the first time since 2001-02.
On Nov. 29 in Toronto, the score was 131-128 in overtime, although the Warriors didn’t have Steph Curry or Draymond Green. Kawhi Leonard scored 37 points, and Pascal Siakam added 26 and the Raptors overcame a 51-point performance from Kevin Durant. The Raptors snapped an eight-game losing streak against Golden State.
On Dec. 12 in Oakland, the Raptors rolled 113-93 despite playing without Leonard. Kyle Lowry had 23 points and 12 assists and Serge Ibaka had 20. Durant had 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Golden State. Curry and Green played in that one.
Why Bet on Golden State?
The Warriors are making their fifth straight NBA Finals appearance, joining the Celtics (10 straight, 1957-66) as the only teams in NBA history ever to do so.
The Warriors will have had nine days off since sweeping the Blazers in the West Finals, but they won’t have Kevin Durant for Game 1 due to a calf injury that has kept him out since the third quarter of Game 5 of the conference semifinals. It’s not clear if Durant will play at all during the series. Though he has done some light shooting on his own, Durant hasn’t been cleared for on-court work with the team. Despite missing their leading scorer over the last several games, the Warriors have managed to go 5-0 without Durant, who was the NBA Finals MVP the past two years.
There’s a chance that DeMarcus Cousins plays in Game 1. Cousins, who has been out since Game 2 of the first round with a torn left quadriceps muscle, is questionable for Game 1. He completed his third scrimmage Monday, though his movements still appear a bit labored.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Jordan Bell will be in the rotation for the NBA Finals. “He’s gonna play,” Kerr said. “We’ll see how it all shakes out. It depends on matchups and health and the rest. But even if everybody’s healthy, Jordan will find his way onto the court.” He’s coming off a rough regular season, but Kerr said Bell has been “fantastic” lately as he’s averaging 6.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 steals in 13.0 minutes over his last five games.
Golden State has a 39-31 record in Game 1 in any playoff series, and has won the last 12 Game 1s. In the NBA Finals, the Warriors have an 8-2 all-time record in Game 1, including 4-0 since 2015. The Warriors have an all-time 1-2 record in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on the road.
- Average Score For: 117.61
- Field Goals: 49.02%
- Three Points: 38.27%
- Free Throws: 80.42%
- Rebounds: 45.90
- Average Score Against: 111.10
- Field Goals: 44.36%
- Three Points: 35.02%
- Free Throws: 77.56%
- Rebounds: 43.77
Why Bet on Toronto?
Thursday’s game will mark the first NBA Finals game ever played outside of the United States. Toronto entered the NBA 24 years ago as one of two Canadian expansion franchises and now joins Orlando, Miami and Dallas as the only expansion teams since 1980 to reach the NBA Finals. Only six active teams in the NBA have yet to reach an NBA Finals – Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Minnesota, Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans.
The Raptors looked like toast in the Eastern Conference Finals when they were down 2-0, but they won the next four. The Raptors’ 14-point rally in Game 5 at Milwaukee was the largest road playoff comeback in team history, while the 15-point comeback in Game 6 was the second-largest playoff comeback in team history overall.
They finished off the Bucks, the team with the NBA’s best record, 100-94 on Saturday night. Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points with a career-high 17 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two blocks, one 3-pointer and six turnovers in 41 minutes. In the series against the Bucks, he posted averages of 29.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 triples on 44.9 percent shooting in 41.2 minutes per game.
Danny Green is hopeful that he can break out of his shooting funk during the Finals. “It’s hard not to think about it because everybody in the world is telling you don’t think about it. Everybody you come across: ‘Keep shooting it’, trust me I’m going to keep shooting. ‘Don’t think about it’, I’m trying not to, you’re not helping.” Green has hit just 32.5% of his shots through the playoffs, but he shot 52.4% against the Warriors during the regular season, and has shot 52.2% from 3-point range in his 12 Finals appearances.
Toronto finished a perfect 10-0 vs. the Pacific Division this season. No other NBA team is undefeated against a division this year. The last team to go 10 -0 (or better) versus one division was Golden State against the Southeast Division in 2015-16.
- Average Score For: 112.73
- Field Goals: 46.80%
- Three Points: 36.24%
- Free Throws: 80.62%
- Rebounds: 44.73
- Average Score Against: 106.77
- Field Goals: 44.35%
- Three Points: 33.85%
- Free Throws: 76.55%
- Rebounds: 45.24
Warriors vs Raptors NBA Finals Game 2 Betting Trends
- Warriors are 6-0 SU in their last 6 games
- The total went OVER in 10 of Golden State’s last 15 games
- Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
- The total went UNDER in 13 of Toronto’s last 19 games
- Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Toronto
- Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings
- Warriors are 2-5-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings
Expert Prediction for Warriors vs Raptors
Raptors 109, Warriors 107