2019 NBA Finals Series Pick: Golden State Warriors vs Toronto Raptors Betting Preview

by Drew Goldfarb
on May 29, 2019

Minute Read

For the fifth year in a row, the Golden State Warriors are playing in the NBA Finals. For the first time in that stretch, they’re facing someone other than the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2019, the Eastern Conference championship belongs to the Toronto Raptors. It’s Toronto’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in franchise history, as they look to earn Canada its first ever NBA Championship.

Golden State has been Golden State this postseason, having little trouble with any of the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, or Portland Trail Blazers on their way back to the Finals. They’ve lost only four times over the span of the first three rounds and now have a chance to earn NBA’s first three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers won three straight titles from 2000-2002.

The Warriors’ success this postseason has come despite some injury woes. DeMarcus Cousins was lost early on during this year’s postseason, with Kevin Durant later going down near the end of the second round. Despite that, Golden State has gone 5-0 without Durant, including a sweep of the Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. However, it is worth noting that, by NBA.com’s records, Portland actually held the lead for 51% of the minutes played during that series.

Opposite the Warriors, the Toronto Raptors are riding high and on a big win streak of their own. After dropping back-to-back games in Milwaukee to open up the series, Toronto came back to win the Eastern Conference Finals with four straight wins over the top-seeded Bucks. The Raptors have actually trailed in each of the three postseason series they’ve played in to this point: They dropped Game 1 to Orlando before beating the Magic in five games, they trailed Philadelphia 2-1 before ending the 76ers’ postseason with a buzzer-beater in Game 7, and their 4-2 series win over the Bucks came after Milwaukee opened things up with a 2-0 series lead.

During the regular season, the teams met twice—once in Toronto and once in Oakland. In both cases, the Raptors came away with wins. On November 29th, the Raptors won 131-128 in overtime at home. Neither Stephen Curry nor Draymond Green played for the Warriors in that contest, though Kevin Durant did score 51 points in the loss. In the second meeting, Toronto won 113-93 on December 12. The Warriors were fully staffed for that contest, and the Raptors actually played that game without Kawhi Leonard.

The Warriors enter this year’s NBA Finals as the heavy favorites, posting at -290 to win the series at MyBookie. The Raptors, meanwhile, come in at +235 underdogs. As good as Toronto has been, and as much as they’ve been able to accomplish already this postseason, I cannot see Golden State falling short now. The Warriors may not provide a big payout (I’d hope that you would have placed a bet on Golden State to win the title earlier in the postseason if you were okay with betting on a favorite), but I don’t think this series will go any other way. My suggestion would be to play a series length. I think Toronto wins one of the first two games of the series (being that they’re being held in Toronto), but this one ends with Golden State winning in five games.

Pick: Warriors (Series)

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Drew Goldfarb

Drew has been covering sports professionally since 2007, including sports in the ACC, SEC, Big 12, and Conference USA. He spent two seasons working with the NHL's Florida Panthers as part of their TV broadcast team, as well as reporting and anchoring for AT&T SportsNet and FOX Sports affiliates, CBS Sports Network, and ESPNU. Drew has also been active in Fantasy Sports since 2002.

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