Welcome to the Wednesday, June 5 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for tonight’s Raptors-Warriors 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: 2-5 (.286)
NBA finals series results:
- May 30: Raptors 118, Warriors 109 (Scotiabank Arena)
- June 2: Warriors 109, Raptors 104 (Scotiabank Arena)
6/5/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 12-7 postseason) vs. Golden State Warriors (57-25 reg. season, 13-5 postseason)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -4.5 (o/u: 212.5)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -4.5 (o/u: 213.0)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -4.5 (o/u: 212.5)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -4.5 (o/u: 213.0)
Things were starting to look downright nerve-wracking for the Warriors at about the 2:04 mark of the second quarter in Game 2. The Raptors‘ Fred VanVleet had just drained a bucket to extend Toronto’s lead to 56-45. Then, Golden State’s subsequent 18-0 run to open the second half was naturally pivotal to the defending champs stealing a win Sunday. However, the fact the Warriors didn’t just roll over shortly before halftime may have been nearly as important. They finished the second period on a 9-3 run that seemed to wake their offense back up and set the stage for what was to come.
The third-quarter stretch saw a return to the pace that typically embodies Warriors basketball. The Raptors eventually got their wits back and also began piling up enough points to stay within striking distance. Even though Toronto shot an ugly 37.2 percent for the night, the game seemed to easily validate our Over prediction midway through the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, a five-minute-plus scoreless stretch for the Warriors in the latter portion of the final period caused the contest to fall just three points short of 215. However, that scoring drought can safely be classified as an outlier, as can the Raptors’ putrid shooting effort. More importantly, both teams ramped up the pace well past Game 1’s feeling-out rhythm.
That pace jumped from 98.0 possessions per game in the opening installment of the series to 104.6 in Game 2. Expect that to persist in Game 3 at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors are coincidentally averaging 104.6 possessions per contest this regular season and postseason. Then, the Raptors sport a similar 103.4 figure in that category when traveling.
The return of DeMarcus Cousins was another boon for the Warriors’ offensive fortunes. We’d noted in our Game 2 preview that Cousins was likely due for at least a boost in minutes — if not outright insertion into the starting five — after getting back into the swing of things with a Game 1 appearance off the bench. With his legs a bit more under him Sunday, the big man impacted the scoreboard both directly and as a facilitator. Cousins finished with 11 points and six assists while navigating five fouls. Having played 28 minutes, Cousins is likely due for a similar workload Wednesday and could have an even bigger offensive impact.
Despite the critical win, the news wasn’t all good for the Warriors. The injury bug once again reared its ugly head. First, the Dubs lost Kevon Looney to a collarbone injury. Then, Andre Iguodala suffered a blow to the head in the first half although he ultimately returned and hit a game-clinching three with seven seconds remaining. And Klay Thompson, who’d been the Warriors’ best offensive player by far on the night with a 10-for-17 shooting performance, pulled up lame in the fourth quarter and exited for good with hamstring tightness.
That doesn’t even factor in the ongoing absence of Kevin Durant (calf), who’s out again for Game 3. Thompson is proclaiming his injury as minor, but he’s listed as questionable.
On Toronto’s end of things, Pascal Siakam‘s 5-for-18 performance from the field is unlikely to repeat itself Wednesday. The emerging big has had a couple of clunkers in the postseason. Yet he’s generally bounced back with an appreciably better performance each time. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard seems to be falling victim a bit to Iguodala’s and Thompson’s suffocating defense. He’s shot just 37.9 percent over the first two games.
But the perennial All-Star is always aggressive and is, therefore, a virtual lock for double-digit free-throw attempts. That much was true in the first pair of contests. Kawhi has visited the charity stripe a total of 28 occasions already. A perfect 16-for-16 showing in that category Sunday enabled him to still lead all scorers with 34 points despite going just 8-for-20 from the field.
Due to Thompson’s injury, it’s difficult to predict what the Warriors’ starting five will look Wednesday. Assuming he plays, Golden State has already demonstrated enough firepower to best the Raps, even without Durant. Though Looney appears lost for the season, it won’t have a profound impact on the scoreboard. That’s especially true with Cousins back in action.
By The Numbers
The Over is 25-23-1 (52.1 percent) in the Raptors’ away games this regular season and postseason, including 11-8 (57.9 percent) in their games as road underdogs. It’s also 17-15 (53.1 percent) in Toronto’s non-conference games this season and postseason.
The Over is 11-7 (61.1 percent) in the Warriors’ postseason games this season. That figure is also 17-15 (53.1 percent) in Golden State’s non-conference games this season and postseason and 38-31 (55.1 percent) in games following a Warriors’ win.
The Final Word
Both the Raptors and Warriors significantly picked up the pace in Sunday’s Game 2. The contest seemed a surefire bet to exceed the projected total of 215 before the Warriors somehow found a way to go scoreless for 5:32 in the fourth quarter until Iguodala’s game-clinching three-pointer with seven seconds remaining. Today’s total opened even lower due to Golden State’s plethora of injuries. If Thompson is able to suit up, I see the 212.5-point total being exceeded fairly comfortably.
The Lean: Warriors moneyline
The Pick: Over 212.5 (assuming Thompson plays a normal allotment of minutes)