Welcome to the Thursday, June 13 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for Game 6 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: 7-4-1 (.636)
Moneyline: 3-6 (.333)
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: Warriors 106, Raptors 105 (Scotiabank Arena)
6/13/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 14-8 postseason) vs. Golden State Warriors (57-25 reg. season, 14-7 postseason)
*UPDATED THURS., 6/13 @ 11:30am EDT*
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -2.5 (o/u: 211.5)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -2.5 (o/u: 211.5)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -2.5 (o/u: 211.5)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Warriors -2.5 (o/u: 211.5)
As Monday’s Game 5 approached, news that Kevin Durant would return from his calf injury had a seismic effect on the line. The Raptors went from 3-3.5-point favorites to one-point underdogs at most sportsbooks by tip-off. The movement certainly looked justified when Durant helped the Warriors get off to a fast start on Monday. As we know now, the big man lasted just 12 minutes before suffering what seems destined to be confirmed as an Achilles tear. Yet Golden State lived up to its championship pedigree by erasing a six-point deficit with just minutes remaining in enemy territory to escape with the win.
Naturally, a great deal of that had to do with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. As they did Monday, the duo will have to put the Warriors on their collective shoulders Thursday for the defending champs to push the series to a Game 7. The good news is that both are more than capable. Curry bore that out again in Game 5 with his third 30-point-plus tally of the series. Then, Thompson extended what has been an under-the-radar offensive tear by pouring in 26 points.
Thompson’s series performance to date bears further examination when evaluating the chances of the Over hitting Thursday. The veteran wing is known for being a somewhat streaky shooter capable of going on extended heaters. He’s in the midst of one such stretch at the moment. Factoring in Monday’s contributions, Thompson is shooting 52.5 percent overall in the series, including a blistering 57.6 percent from distance. Klay hasn’t shot under 50.0 percent from behind the arc in any of the four Finals games he suited up for thus far. That includes a 53.8 percent showing Monday night.
A resurgent offensive effort from DeMarcus Cousins off the bench Monday also provides a reason for optimism with respect to the Warriors racking up points. Granted, there are a couple of caveats that come into play. One is that Cousins was able to accumulate his 14 points partly against some mixed Raptors rotations since he was deployed in the second unit. The other is that Marc Gasol did run into foul trouble for Toronto. That freed Cousins up some. Gasol has proven to be a tricky obstacle for Cousins at different points in the series. Therefore, Cousins, who should be back in the starting five Thursday with Durant out, will have to step up his play.
The other key offensive component for the Warriors as they attempt to extend the series will be Draymond Green. The mercurial forward has been relatively quiet on the offensive end recently with back-to-back 10-point efforts. However, he managed consecutive 17-point tallies in Games 2 and 3. He also generated 20- and 18-point efforts to wrap up the conference finals against the Trail Blazers. Other secondary components, such as Andre Iguodala and Quinn Cook, will likely need to be at the top of their games to give the Splash Bros some help. With the season on the line and the Warriors on their home court, it wouldn’t be surprising to see each ramp up his offensive usage.
Then, the Raptors should be able to once again contribute their fair share toward boosting the total Thursday. Kawhi Leonard did revert back to some of his early-series shooting struggles in Game 5. However, as he’s prone to do, he still found his way to an above-average point total (26). Kyle Lowry was also able to rediscover his shooting stroke, his misfire on a would-be series-clincher notwithstanding. Lowry drained 50.0 percent of his shots for the second time in the last three games. Gasol also enjoyed a resurgent performance with 17 points on 66.7 percent shooting.
And perhaps just as important was the fact that Serge Ibaka managed to make significant offensive contributions off the bench for the second straight contest. The veteran big man averaged 17.5 points on 70.0 percent shooting over Games 4 and 5. Toronto seems to have found some exploitable matchups with Ibaka on the floor against an under-sized Warriors second unit that figures to be back to playing without Kevon Looney on Thursday after the big man also re-injured himself Monday. Coupled with Fred VanVleet’s continued strong play (12.4 PPG on 46.0 percent shooting during Finals), the duo is keeping the Raptors’ offense humming when the front-line players grab a breather.
By The Numbers
The Over is 54-50-1 (51.9 percent) in the Raptors’ games this season and postseason. That includes a 26-24-1 mark (52.0 percent) in Toronto’s road games and 12-9 (57.1 percent) in their games as road underdogs specifically.
Then, the Over is 12-9 (57.1 percent) in the Warriors’ postseason games. The Over is also 39-31 (55.7 percent) in games following a Golden State win and 18-17 (51.4 percent) in the Warriors’ non-conference games this season and postseason.
Finally, the Over is 9-3 (75.0 percent) in the last 12 meetings (regular season and postseason) between the Warriors and Raptors at Oracle Arena and 6-4 (60.0 percent) in Golden State’s home playoff games this postseason.
The Final Word
Over/under wagers have been a bit tricky on a couple of occasions in this series, but Thursday’s contest will tilt toward offense in my opinion. The Over has hit more often than not at Oracle this postseason, and both squads will be nothing if not aggressive as they try to clinch or avoid elimination. I don’t see an overly high-scoring game, but high enough to slightly exceed a manageable total.
The Pick: Over 210.5