Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors
|Date & Time||Thursday May 30, 2019, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Toronto -1 -- Over/Under 214.5
The Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors collide in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night.
The Golden State Warriors are heading to the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season after completing the series sweep against the Trailblazers in the Western Conference Finals. Stephen Curry was a little slow out of the gates in these playoffs, but he was red-hot against the Trailblazers as he averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists while averaging 6.5 3-point makes per game. Klay Thompson averaged 21.5 points while shooting just 37.8 percent from the field, Draymond Green averaged 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game against the Blazers while Andre Iguodala played extended minutes in the absence of the injured Kevin Durant who is already listed as out for Game 1 with a calf injury. We’ve yet to see DeMarcus Cousins in action, but he is currently listed as questionable for Game 1 with a quad injury, but he is expected to feature at some point in this series.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors looked to be in a bit of trouble when they fell behind 0-2 to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they went on to reel off four straight wins to book their ticket to the biggest stage in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard was sensational on both ends of the floor against the Bucks as he averaged 29.8 points with 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Pascal Siakam had an inconsistent series as he shot just 41 percent from the field and 20 percent from the 3-point line, but he still managed to average 14.5 points with 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Kyle Lowry shot it well from distance against the Bucks as he averaged 19.2 points per game with 5.5 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 48 percent from the 3-point line, but the x-factor off the bench for the Raptors could be Fred VanVleet who finished the series with a three-game stretch where he averaged 16 points while shooting 68 percent from the field and 82 percent from the 3-point line.
Looking at the betting trends, the Warriors are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games following a win, 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games playing on three or more days rest and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The Raptors are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against a team above .600, 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 1-8 ATS in their last nine games playing on three or more days rest.
Head to head, the over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Toronto, the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and the Warriors are 2-5-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.
Many expected the Warriors to take a step back when Durant went down with that calf strain, but they haven’t missed a step as they improved their ball movement while leaning on Stephen Curry who makes the Warriors practically unbeatable when he gets hot. The Raptors made a huge call when they decided to trade for Kawhi Leonard and they’ve been rewarded with a trip to the NBA Finals and a chance to win it all for the first time in franchise history. Leonard has been everything and more for the Raptors, but it still wouldn’t have been enough if not for the role players like Lowry, VanVleet and Siakam stepping up in these playoffs. The Warriors are still heavy favorites coming into this one and deservedly so, but the Raptors are playing with house money and the belief is there as they’ve already beaten the Warriors twice in the regular season. With the Warriors still shorthanded, the Raptors simply can’t let this one slip, so I’m going with the Raptors to draw first blood with a narrow win here.