The Golden State Warriors are worthy favourites to claim NBA Finals glory for the fourth time in five years when taking on the Toronto Raptors.
Steve Kerr’s side have faced Cleveland in the last four deciders and are chasing a hat-trick of titles following a dominant 4-0 triumph 12 months ago.
That was a first whitewash since 2007, though, and only the third since 1995, so clean-sweeps are rare and we’re going for the Warriors to prevail 4-1 at 7/2 this time to kick off our NBA Finals predictions.
A Look At Golden State Warriors’ Betting Odds
Golden State have had plenty of time to prepare for this series after crushing Portland 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals, with star man Stephen Curry averaging 36.5 points per game.
Curry will be keen to continue that form against Toronto, having spent two years there as a child, while his dad played for the Raptors.
There was a hint of complacency about the way the Warriors earlier beat the LA Clippers and Houston 4-2 in this year’s play-offs, but it’s clear that there will be no focus issues at the business end of the campaign.
On facing fresh opponents this term, Curry commented: “I like the challenge and the unfamiliarity of this kind of schedule and flow.
“Different city, different views, everything should prepare us to focus.”
A Look At Toronto Raptors’ Betting Odds
Toronto earned the right to compete at this level by beating Eastern Conference top seeds Milwaukee 4-2, with music superstar Drake among the jubilant fans cheering on Saturday night’s 100-94 victory.
The Raptors can also take heart from having beaten the Warriors twice during the regular season, prevailing 113-93 at home in December, two weeks after shading a 131-128 success on the road.
Danny Green’s form is a concern, with the starting guard a miserable one for 15 with three-point attempts versus Milwaukee.
However, star forward Kawhi Leonard is right up there with the most influential players on the planet right now and he should continue to flourish.
With Golden State missing Kevin Durant for Game 1, as well as DeMarcus Cousins being doubtful, that could make things interesting in the opener.
We reckon 87/100 for the Raptors to edge ahead may actually be worth a saver in our NBA Finals betting tips, before Golden State get their act together and control the rest of the series.
Portland 117-119 GOLDEN STATE (OT)
TORONTO 100-94 Milwaukee
Head-to-head: Golden State 93-118 Toronto, Toronto 131-128 Golden State, Toronto 125-127 Golden State, Golden State 117-112 Toronto
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