- The Toronto Raptors remain +130 underdogs after a Game 1 win over Golden State in the NBA Finals
- Pascal Siakam scored 32 points for Toronto
- Game 1 winners are 6-3 straight up series winners in the past nine NBA Finals
Are the Toronto Raptors trend setters, or did they merely take advantage of a rusty bunch of Golden State Warriors?
Time will tell but from a long-term wagering standpoint, Game 1 couldn’t have turned out much better, especially if you’re a backer of the Warriors.
Bovada cut its NBA Championship odds on Golden State winning a third-straight NBA title from -300 to -150. They’ve presented you an opportune time to jump on a Warriors wager.
2019 NBA Finals Odds
|Team||2019 NBA Finals Odds at Bovada|
|Golden State Warriors||-150|
*Odds taken 05/31/19
Though Toronto remains an underdog, the price on the Raps dropped to +130 from +250 after the Game 1 triumph.
Kawhi Wasn’t Kawhi
Perhaps the best news for Toronto wasn’t just the Game 1 victory but also in the manner in which that victory was fashioned. Raptors star Kawhi Leonard was good, with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists – but he wasn’t required to be Superman for Toronto to soar to victory.
NOT IN PASCAL SIAKAM'S HOUSE pic.twitter.com/XtPfCRmZIR
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) May 31, 2019
Pascal Siakam stepped up and delivered 32 points. Marc Gasol scored 20 points, won the one-on-one battle with Draymond Green and stepped up with support defense to help control Steph Curry.
Toronto hasn’t often seen that sort of team performance on the offensive side of the ledger during the playoffs. The Raps need this level of scoring balance in order to give the Warriors a run for the title.
How Soon Do We See KD?
Warriors coach Steve Kerr allowed before the series that he didn’t think that Warriors injured forward Kevin Durant (calf) would be available before Game 3. Suddenly, getting Durant back on the floor looks like much more of a priority for Golden State.
Mood from the Warriors: The Raptors played very well, at home, GSWs had a long layoff, played pretty poorly and still had chances to win. Arrogance? Or just true confidence? You decide. "We've got to win one game on the road and I like where we are," Draymond Green said.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 31, 2019
The Warriors were able to laugh it off, and some pundits even suggested they could win without Durant as they rolled along 6-0 with him on the shelf. Suddenly, the need for a healthy supply of KD looks imperative.
Memories of 2004?
The 2004 NBA Finals pitted the Los Angeles Lakers, who’d won three of the four previous NBA titles, against a Detroit Pistons team that was given little chance of success. The Lakers had Kobe and Shaq. The Pistons were a lunch-bucket bunch led by Chauncy Billups.
The Raptors defeated the Warriors 118-109 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Toronto is now 3-0 against Golden State this season…
Also, Toronto is the 4th team since the NBA-ABA merger (1977) to win in their NBA Finals debut and the 1st team to do so since the Mavericks in 2006. pic.twitter.com/mn3RhW9OAf
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 31, 2019
All the smart money was on the Lakers. When the Pistons decisively won Game 1 by an 87-75 count, people insisted it was a one-off. But the Lakers were never in the series. Detroit won in five games in one of the biggest upsets in NBA Finals history.
Warriors Still the One
It’s never wise to put too much stock into one game of a series, especially Game 1. Curry scored 34 points. If his support group arrives for Game 2, things will change quickly.
The Warriors have a win against every team this year…except the Raptors pic.twitter.com/inrzsj2rPT
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) May 30, 2019
Expect Golden State to bounce back strongly in Game 2. Play one unit on the Warriors in the Game 2 moneyline at even-money and another unit on them winning the series.
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