Welcome to the Monday, June 10 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for Game 5 of the Raptors-Warriors Finals 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: 3-5 (.375)
Over/Under: 3-6 (.333)
NBA finals series results:
- 5/30: Raptors 118, Warriors 109 (Scotiabank Arena)
- 6/2: Warriors 109, Raptors 104 (Scotiabank Arena)
- 6/5: Raptors 123, Warriors 109 (Oracle Arena)
- 6/7: Raptors 105, Warriors 92 (Oracle Arena)
6/10/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Golden State Warriors (57-25 reg. season, 13-7 postseason) vs. Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 14-7 postseason)
There’s virtually no end to the number of metrics one can break down when trying to handicap a sporting event. However, sometimes intangibles come to the forefront. That can be especially true in a postseason series. A certain theme sometimes develops as two teams go head to head repeatedly over a compressed period. It’s my view that we’ve arrived at that stage in this year’s NBA Finals. And it doesn’t add up to a pretty picture for the defending champion Warriors.
After doing what would have once been unthinkable — losing two straight Finals games at home — Golden State is seemingly done. Yes, the pedigree of the Dubs is such that there’s still that chance they muster enough to send the series back to the West Coast. Yet the Raptors have clearly overcome the biggest intangible coming into the series: potential jitters from going up against the back-to-back champs. By now, they have identified all the favorable matchups. What’s more, they’ve consistently exploited them in back-to-back double-digit road wins.
The tenor and margin of victory in Games 3 and 4 say plenty about where these two teams currently stand. In part, both games should rid the Warriors of any illusions about slowing down Kawhi Leonard. Now, in Games 1 and 2, Golden State did an excellent job limiting Kawhi’s efficiency. The perennial All-Star was only a combined 13-for-34 from the floor. But Leonard has certainly figured things out over the last two. He’s shot 51.3 percent over that span while averaging 33.0 points.
Then, the last two games have also seen other members of the Raptors step up in key roles. In Game 3, all five first-unit players hit double digits in the scoring column. In Friday’s Game 4, things went back to being a bit unbalanced. But Serge Ibaka exploded for a postseason-high 20 points off the bench. And Pascal Siakam didn’t go back into the tank after bouncing back from a Game 2 clunker in the prior contest. He poured in 19 points on Friday. Meanwhile, Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol continued to offer strong complementary contributions.
On the other end, Thompson produced a gem after missing Game 3. He scored a team-high 28 points and shot a blistering 60.0 percent from three-point range. Yet even when coupled with backcourt mate Stephen Curry‘s 27 points, it was nowhere near enough. Of particular concern is that DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t able to offer much for the second straight game and only logged 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, both Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green were only marginally involved on the offensive end. Iguodala couldn’t get anything going with his shot (1-6 FG). Green took only six attempts. The big man did contribute via his 12 assists. But it’s clear Toronto is succeeding in funneling Golden State’s offense. In the process, the Raps are dictating to the Warriors much more than the champs are accustomed. Naturally, Kevin Durant (calf) being absent is a huge part of that.
That absence is essentially the final nail in the coffin for the Warriors at this point. Durant is not expected to play in Game 5. He reportedly has not responded well to recent tests with his calf and doesn’t appear ready despite practicing Sunday and an official questionable tag. A Durant-less squad spearheaded by younger, healthier versions of Curry and Thompson was enough earlier this decade. It isn’t now, not against a team that simply has more depth and desire at this stage.
By The Numbers
The Warriors are 43-57-2 (43.0 percent) against the spread this season, including 8-11-1 (42.1 percent) in the postseason. Golden State is also 24-26-1 (48.0 percent) versus the number as an away team this season and postseason and 14-17 (45.2 percent) in games following a loss.
The Raptors are 13-9 (59.1 percent) against the spread this postseason. That includes a 7-1 mark (87.5 percent) versus the number over the last eight postseason games. Toronto has also won seven of its last eight postseason games.
The Final Word
This series has been a veritable landmine to prognosticate, with injuries playing a big part. Even with Thompson back in the fold in Game 4, it was evident that this edition of the Warriors simply doesn’t have enough in the tank to overcome a team that caught fire at just the right time. In hostile, burning-with-anticipation Toronto in Game 5, I see Monday as the end of the line for Golden State in a loss by at least two points.
The Pick: *UPDATE: Durant’s expected participation Monday has moved the spread in favor of the Warriors* Raptors +1, Raptors moneyline