FREE NBA Pick Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors (70-32) at Toronto Raptors (73-31)
NBA Finals Game 5: Monday, June 10, 2019 at 9:07pm EST (Scotiabank Arena)
Lines and Odds: Toronto Raptors -3.5 – Over/Under: 211.5
Through four games, the 2019 NBA Finals have all but guaranteed an historic ending to the season. As the series heads back to Canada, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors are on the verge of clinching their first ever NBA Championship in front of their home crowd, but the 2-time defending champion Golden State Warriors will be looking to postpone the celebration by winning the first of three games necessary to come back from a daunting 3-1 deficit.
The Raptors, however, aren’t showing any indication of letting that happen. After losing home-court in Game 2, they responded in force by becoming the only team to beat the Warriors on their own court in consecutive playoff games since Steph Curry was drafted. Kawhi Leonard was once again the best player on the floor in Game 4, tallying game-high totals in points (36), rebounds (12), and steals (4) in the 13-point victory. And though he may already be a lock to win the Finals MVP if the Raptors win the series, it is Toronto’s depth that has proven to be the difference-maker in the series.
With Serge Ibaka’s 20 points in the Game 4 victory, the Raptors have now had a different player as the second highest scorer in every game of the series, and Ibaka is now only half a point away from being the seventh Raptor to average double-digit PPG in the Finals. Even Danny Green, who converted only 1 of his 8 shots and had more fouls (5) than points (3), finished +13, tying Leonard for the highest +/- in Game 4. As the series heads back to Toronto, the Raptors find themselves sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat, and the series is theirs to lose.
But counting Steph Curry, Steve Kerr, and the rest of the Golden State Warriors out is a decision that may prove to be shortsighted. The last time this team went down 3-1 in the playoffs was during the 2016 Western Conference Finals, in which they tore off for 3 straight victories to stun the Oklahoma City Thunder before having their fortunes brutally reversed by LeBron James in the next series. But if they hope to stave off elimination in Game 5, then production from the bench is a necessity. Beyond a terrific 28-point game from Klay Thompson in his return from injury, there is to be positive about in Golden State’s performance.
Curry, who has been double-teamed for most of the series, scored his 27 points on a mediocre 9-22 shooting (including 2-9 from three), and Shaun Livingston performed even worse in his absence, sporting a game-low -14 in just over 15 minutes played. The Warriors have an uphill battle ahead of them, particularly with Kevin Durant’s comeback looking more unlikely by the day. The talent and experience is certainly there on this Warriors team, but if they want to win Game 5, then their role players must rise to the occasion.
Cover the Spread 365 NBA Betting Trends
7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
7-5 ATS as home favorites in 2019 playoffs
4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Golden State
3-2 ATS in the 2019 playoffs as underdogs
4-1 SU in last 5 road games
8-2 ATS when trailing in a playoff series since 2015.
FREE NBA Expert Prediction Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
If you’ve watched this series, then the pick may seem almost too easy. Toronto has outplayed Golden State handily over the past two games, and Kawhi has seemed all but unstoppable. Following back-to-back double-digit road wins, it seems like Toronto has this in the bag. However, it is always important to take a step back from the most recent outcomes when putting money down. The Golden State Warriors are an experienced team with multiple championships, and have proven throughout their run of dominance that they will not roll over and accept defeat.
In Games 3 and 4 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals, they lost by 24 and 28 points, respectively, to fall down 3-1 to the Thunder before winning 3 straight elimination games. While trailing in a playoff series since 2015, the Warriors are 8-2 against the spread, including a 2-0 mark (which includes Game 2 of this series) as underdogs in those games. The Raptors may be a better team, and may very well win Game 5, but the bottom line is that giving 3.5 points to a desperate and experienced Golden State squad is a dangerous play, as they are skilled enough to at least keep the game close when the Championship is on the line.