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NBA FINALS: Warriors Haven’t Been Down 0-2 In A Playoff Series In The Kerr Era

Warriors vs Raptors Betting Odds June 2, 2019

All eyes of the basketball world will be fixed on Game 2 of the NBA Finals tonight when the Toronto Raptors try to take a 2-0 series lead vs the Golden State Warriors. The Raptors are riding a six-game home winning streak in the playoffs and can put the Warriors in a position they’ve never been in during the Steve Kerr era: down 0-2 in a playoff series.

The Warriors opened as 1-point favorites but oddsmakers and bettors and have shifted the spread to the Raptors being favored by 2-points with a total of 215.

Warriors vs Raptors Game Center

STANDOUT STATS

  • The Warriors got 36 points from their bench in Game 1 of the Finals and the reserves have been massive in offensive support for the Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Since Kevin Durant went down with a calf injury, the Warriors’ bench has averaged 33.1 points per game which is nearly eight more points per game than the Raptors’ have averaged in the postseason (25.3).
  • Further to the above point, the Raptors’ depth was one of the key reasons for why they won Game 1 and advanced past the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Final. The Warriors smothered Kawhi Leonard to a 5 for 14 shooting night but that was counterbalanced by Pascal Siakam scoring 32 points on 14 of 17 shooting.
  • Not to be outdone, Fred VanVleet scored 15 points but only shot 1 for 4 from behind the arc after shooting 14 for 17 in Games 4-6 of the East Final.
  • The Warriors are not used to being on the road for the start of a playoff series – this will be only their second time in 20 playoff series since 2015 and they’ve never gone down 0-2 in a series since Steve Kerr took over as head coach.
  • Stephen Curry has owned the Raptors in his career, averaging 29.1 points per game in 18 games vs Toronto, which is his highest average against any team in the NBA. In his last six games against the Dinos, he’s averaged 27.8 points per game but has only shot 18-for-50 from behind the arc (36 percent).
  • Three-point shooting will be key in this series and the Warriors have been a cut above in that category. The Warriors lead the postseason at 37.1 percent on an average of 32.4 shots from behind the arc. In Game 1, they shot 38.3 percent on 31 attempts.
  • Although they dropped Game 1, the Warriors have historically fared well when Kevin Durant isn’t in the lineup. They’ve won five of six games in the playoffs with him on the sideline and are 34-4 SU and 22-13-4 ATS in the last 39 games when Durant is out and Stephen Curry plays. It’s also worth mentioning they’ve won 31 of their last 33 games in that circumstance (21-8-4 ATS).
  • Another OVER may be in store for Game 2 after the total was surpassed in Game 1. The OVER has hit in 11 of the Warriors’ 17 playoff games in this postseason. The OVER has also hit in six of the Warriors’ last seven road games and in the last five games in this matchup when played in Toronto.
  • Lots of interesting first-quarter trends coming into Game 1. The Warriors are 7-3 ATS on the first-quarter spread over their last 10 games while the Raptors are 4-1 ATS over their last five.

My Best Bet for Warriors vs Raptors

Warriors Moneyline

I may catch some flak for this pick because I took the Warriors to win Game 1 and I don’t care. The Warriors are too good to fall down 0-2 in a playoff series, even with how strong the Raptors have looked over their last five playoff games. A lot had to go right in Game 1 for the Warriors to fall short and I highly doubt Pascal Siakam shoots 82 percent from the floor again in this series.

The Warriors will likely employ a different style of defense that they showed in Game 1 and allow an apparently hobbled Kawhi Leonard get all the buckets he wants and shut down the Raptors’ supporting cast. If the Warriors can clean up the turnovers (17 in Game 1) and play better transition defense (outscored 24-17 on the fast break), the Warriors take this one.