The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors open the 2019 NBA Finals on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.

Basketball Still Without KD

The Golden State Warriors will be playing in their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. The Warriors have won in three out of the last four years including the last two to establish themselves as the league’s best team since 2015. However, this is the first time in five Finals where they aren’t playing Game 1 at home. Likewise, this is the first time in three years that they will play Game 1 of the Finals without Kevin Durant.

Stephen Curry has literally owned the Raptors in his career as the Warriors’ two-time MVP is averaging 28.6 points per game in 17 career games against Toronto. That number is his highest career scoring average against any NBA team so that says something about him enjoying himself when facing the Raptors. However, Curry has shot just 14-41 from the three-point area in his last five games against Toronto.

Golden State will continue to play without Kevin Durant but they are 5-0 without him this postseason. The two-time defending NBA champions are also 34-4 SU and 22-14-4 ATS in their last 38 games that Durant has missed but where Curry has played. That’s not saying that they don’t need KD but the Warriors have found ways to win without him.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from as of 5/30/19

The Toronto Raptors are making their first ever NBA Finals appearance. Unlike the Warriors who breezed through the Blazers in their conference finals, the Raptors had to come from 0-2 down to beat the top-seeded Bucks in six games. The Warriors are without KD but the Raptors are definitely banged up after slugfests with the Sixers and Raptors. Despite that, the Raptors are slight betting favorites and are at home for Game 1.

Kawhi Leonard is having a spectacular postseason, putting up huge numbers and making the big shots down the stretch. Against Golden State, Leonard has averaged 23.2 points per game since 2015 and has scored at least 20 points in seven out of 10 games during that period. However, his teams are just 4-6 SU against the Dubs during that stretch.

The triumvirate of Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell turned the Milwaukee series around for the Raptors. From Game 3 onward, that trio averaged 35.5 points per game with VanVleet making 14 out of 17 three-pointers (82.3%) from Game 4 to Game 6. The Raptors need those three to get going in order to keep up with Golden State’s high scoring offense.

Basketball Who Wins?

The Warriors are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games played. Golden State is 3-2 SU in their last five games played on the road. The Raptors are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. Toronto is 5-0 SU in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Warriors are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games played against the Raptors. Golden State is also 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played in Toronto.

The Warriors rarely lose in Game 1s of a playoff series as they are a remarkable 18-1 SU in series openers. However, they are also rarely on the road for Game 1s as this is only the second time in their last 20 that they are opening a series on the road. The Dubs though have been solid at Scotiabank Arena, winning five out of their last six games in Toronto with their only loss during that period the game last November which Stephen Curry and Draymond Green missed.

The Raptors meanwhile are 3-15 SU in Game 1s and are 1-2 SU in three Game 1s played this postseason. The Warriors have won their last three playoff games on the road, beating the Rockets in the close-out Game 6 and then sweeping Portland in the Conference Finals. The Raptors have played well this postseason but unlike the Sixers and Bucks who couldn’t make baskets down the stretch, the Warriors thrive in clutch situations regardless of where the game is played. I think the long rest was a huge help to the banged-up Warriors. I’m picking Golden State to beat Toronto in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

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Basketball Other Bets To Make

Golden State is just 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Warriors are 2-2-1 ATS in their last five games played on the road. Toronto is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played and the Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Raptors are 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings overall but the Warriors are 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings in Toronto.

What are the Spread Odds?


+1 (-110)


-1 (-110)

Odds from as of 5/30/19

The Warriors are 11-8 ATS in their last 19 Game 1s of a series. Golden State is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games after a win, 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games when playing after a rest of at least three days and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Toronto is 4-0 ATS in their last four games against an opponent with a winning percentage of at least .600, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 1-8 ATS in their last nine games after a rest of three or more days. The Warriors haven’t played well against the spread all season long but that’s because they’ve been favored to win games by huge margins. This one’s different because the spread is just a point. Also, the Dubs are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as road underdogs. Anytime you get an extra point when betting for Golden State is a luxury. Prediction: Warriors +1

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The over is 6-4 in Golden State’s last 10 games played. The Dubs have seen the total go over in four out of their last five road games played. The over is 3-2 in Toronto’s last five games played and the over is also 3-2 in Toronto’s last five home games played. Head to head, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 games between these two teams. The over is also 4-0 in the last four meetings in Toronto.

What are the Totals Odds?


O 213 -110


U 213 -110

Odds from as of 5/30/19

Golden State averaged 114.8 points per game against the Blazers even when they played without Durant and even when Klay Thompson didn’t have his best shooting during the series. Toronto is a much better defensive team and they can always put Leonard on Curry if they want to. But I think that Golden State’s offense is more than just Stephen Curry and while he is their top scorer, Steve Kerr’s troops have always found ways to manufacture points from other makers. This is a Golden State team that’s playing fluid offense and not like the Milwaukee squad that relied heavily on Antetokounmpo to create. Golden State is going to score and for Toronto to have a chance to win, they must score as well. I think this is going over 213. Prediction: Over 213

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