Welcome to the Sunday, June 2 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for Sunday’s Warriors-Raptors Finals matchup I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
ATS Leans/Picks: 7-4 (.636)
Moneyline: 3-3 (.500)
Over/Under: 2-4 (.333)
NBA finals series results:
- May 30: Raptors 118, Warriors 109 (Scotiabank Arena)
6/2/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Golden State Warriors (57-25 reg. season, 12-5 postseason) vs. Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 12-6 postseason)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Raptors -2.5 (o/u: 215.5)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Raptors -1.5 (o/u: 215.0)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Raptors -2.5 (o/u: 215.5)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Raptors -2 (o/u: 215.0)
It’s been stated — and occasionally proven — that the last team left standing in any given season is sometimes the one that gets hot at the right time, as opposed to the one who may have performed better over the course of a season. The Raptors already bore that out on the conference level by shockingly taking four straight from the Bucks. Milwaukee owned the best regular-season record at 60-22. Now, the Raptors are out to dethrone the kings of the Western Conference and back-to-back defending champions. The question coming in was, would their momentum carry over against a squad with as rich a championship pedigree as the Warriors?
If Game 1 was any indication, the answer is a resounding yes. The time for championship jitters would have likely been then. Yet the Raptors played like seasoned postseason vets. Having the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, who both logged plenty of time vying for the NBA’s highest stakes in their Spurs days, helps tremendously from that standpoint. And Leonard provided more than just intangibles in the series’ opening salvo. He contributed 23 points despite shooting just 5-for-14 against some stingy Andre Iguodala defense.
Pascal Siakam actually checked in as the Toronto team MVP for the night. The breakout forward led the way with 32 points. It appears Golden State is ill-equipped to slow the third-year big down with Draymond Green, Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney, or DeMarcus Cousins. Siakam shot a blistering 82.4 percent for the night, including 66.7 percent on his three-point tries. However, he wasn’t the only frontcourt member to consistently give the Warriors trouble. Marc Gasol, who’s often looked like a shadow of himself while adjusting to life in Toronto, came alive with 20 points over 30 minutes.
Then, while Kyle Lowry significantly underwhelmed offensively (seven points on 2-for-9 shooting), he did average 16.5 points over two regular-season games against the Dubs. This means he could certainly bounce back. It’s also worth noting Fred VanVleet managed to make up for Lowry’s inefficiency Thursday with 15 points off the bench. Overall, Toronto hit on an impressive 50.6 percent of its attempts, including 39.6 percent from distance.
The Warriors also found some decent success despite still playing without Kevin Durant (calf), who’s also already ruled out for Game 2. Stephen Curry (34 points) and Klay Thompson (21 points) unsurprisingly led the way. Green also contributed a 10-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound triple-double. No one else managed to hit double digits in the scoring column. But Golden State shot a solid 38.7 percent from behind the arc. Plus, Cousins, making his first appearance since Game 2 of the quarterfinal round, played only eight minutes off the bench and quickly accrued two fouls. A return to the first unit and/or expanded minutes Sunday could well be in order. It would likely help the Dubs’ offensive cause.
Even though the Raptors did significantly slow the pace down for the Warriors on Thursday (98 possessions for each team), the game still finished with a robust 227-point total. Curry has shown the ability to light up the scoreboard when facing Lowry and the Raptors in his career. Given Durant’s confirmed Game 2 absence, the star point guard’s usage should be through the roof once again. It’s also worth noting both Splash Bros have performed well offensively when playing on at least two days of rest this season. Curry is averaging 25.4 points (on 39.8 percent shooting from distance) under such circumstances. Then, Thompson is putting up 23.9 points on 51.8 percent shooting (including 47.6 percent from three) on the 17 occasions he’s played with two days of downtime.
Finally, it’s worth looking at each team’s track record this postseason when evaluating the chances of the Over hitting Sunday. The Warriors have seen Sunday’s projected 215-point total exceeded in 13 of their 17 playoff contests. That includes four of the six full games that Durant has missed. In turn, four of the Raptors’ last six postseason tilts have also gone beyond 215.
By The Numbers
The Over is 11-6 (64.7 percent) in the Warriors’ postseason games this season. The Over is also 29-21 (58.0 percent) in Golden State’s away games this season and postseason and 17-14 (54.8 percent) in their non-conference games this season and postseason.
The Over is 28-24 (53.8 percent) in the Raptors’ home games this regular season and postseason, including 27-24 (52.9 percent) in their games as home favorites. The Over is also 39-30-1 (56.5 percent) after a Toronto win this season and postseason, plus 17-14 (54.8 percent) in their non-conference games this season and postseason.
The Final Word
The Raptors’ red-hot stretch and Durant’s ongoing absence plant considerable doubt as to the Warriors stealing Game 2. However, both teams can rack up a fair amount of points despite each squad’s solid defense. They scored a combined 227 points in Game 1 to prove it. I see even more offense in Game 2. And even if that prediction falls somewhat short, I envision each club having enough firepower to surpass a 215-point total.
The Pick: Over 215.0