It’s advantage Toronto in the 2018/19 NBA Finals – the Raptors opened up with a close win over the Golden State Warriors to move ahead in the series. A first NBA Championship title for the Canadian side would silence any lingering critics…
Kawhi Leonard struggled at times but Raptors star Pascal Siakam stepped up to the plate. He notched a career-best 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists in an impressive display. The 25-year-old will take some stopping this series if he can emulate that performance in Game 2 and beyond.
888sport are now going 27/20 for Toronto to win the NBA Finals series and punters should consider taking those odds ahead of Game 2. Should the Raptors move two-nil up, that price will significantly shorten. And with Siakam backing Leonard up with his own hefty points tally, you’d be hard pressed to write Toronto off.
Meanwhile, Golden State will not hit the panic button just yet. The Warriors have been in this position before and Steve Kerr’s men will be quietly confident of turning things around. As of May 31st, Betfred are 8/13 for the Warriors to retain the NBA title – a price that will be too short for some basketball punters given Toronto’s early series lead.
Steph Curry recorded 34 points on Thursday night but it wasn’t enough to swing the contest in favour of the Warriors. That will give Golden State cause for concern ahead of Game 2 – the Raptors have the quality to go toe-to-toe with the Warriors if needs be. And with Kevin Durant out, the series has shifted to a more level playing field following the opener.
Event Date: June 3, 2019
Raptors No Longer Relying Solely On Leonard?
Toronto have been one of the NBA’s strongest and most consistent teams in recent years and this could finally be their time to take centre stage in basketball’s showpiece series. This is their first NBA Finals appearance and many believed that the Raptors would crumble under pressure – they showed no signs of stress in Game 1.
A repeat of Thursday’s incredible performance in Game 2 should see Toronto extend their advantage in the series. William Hill are pricing the Raptors at 4/5 to win that clash and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Scotiabank Arena faithful celebrating another victory.
Golden State Will Regroup Ahead Of Game 2
There were plenty of positives for the Warriors in Thursday’s opener. Curry is still playing at a career-high level and the Golden State star looks well placed to challenge for a first NBA Finals MVP award. The Warriors lost by just nine points in Game 1 – it wasn’t like Toronto outplayed Golden State from start to finish.
Another close contest looks likely in Game 2. However, the Warriors could come out on top this time. Sporting Bet are offering 15/4 for Golden State to win by less than six points and NBA betting punters will fancy Kerr’s side to level up the series.
This is a really difficult contest to call. For Toronto, carrying the momentum into a road trip to Oracle Arena in Game 3 is crucial but the Warriors are a tough nut to crack and you rarely see Golden State fall two behind after two games. A fascinating affair awaits.
The Warriors will be quietly confident of drawing level in the series and a win here would swing the balance of power back in their favour. Golden State have the experience, the class and the ‘wow factor’ to get back to winning ways at the first time of asking.
TIP: Over 210.5 points (4/7 with 888sport)
CORRECT SCORE: Toronto Raptors 107-110 Golden State Warriors