NBA Finals Preview: Warriors vs. Raptors Algorithm Picks, Betting Odds, and Player Props
Another year, another chance at an NBA title for the Golden State Warriors.
This time, they won't be running into LeBron James but rather Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, who ripped off four straight wins against the Milwaukee Bucks to clinch the Eastern Conference Finals in six games. This gives the East homecourt advantage for the first time since 2013.
Some key injury news could dictate the series, as Golden State frontcourt stars DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant are not sure things to suit up for Game 1 in Toronto. Durant is out, and Cousins is questionable.
Will that matter? Let's break down the series to see what the bookmakers and our algorithm have to think.
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
The Raptors are one-point favorites for Game 1, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, but that doesn't mean they're favored to win the series. Not by a long shot. In fact, FanDuel Sportsbook has nearly every variation of a Warriors win more likely than a Raptors title.
|Golden State Warriors 4-2||+240|
|Golden State Warriors 4-1||+350|
|Golden State Warriors 4-0||+500|
|Golden State Warriors 4-3||+550|
|Toronto Raptors 4-3||+550|
|Toronto Raptors 4-2||+1200|
|Toronto Raptors 4-1||+1300|
|Toronto Raptors 4-0||+4300|
Warriors in six is the most likely outcome according to FanDuel Sportsbook, which would mean a win on their home court, and Game 7 is a tossup at this point, per the bookmakers.
Our algorithm also thinks that a Warriors win in Oracle in Game 6 is the most likely outcome (24.12%) of any possible scenario, per our projections czar Sam Hauss.
What does it have to say about the overall series?
numberFire Algorithm Pick
|Finals Win||FanDuel Sportsbook Odds||numberFire Probability|
|Golden State Warriors||-290||70.3%|
Our algorithm views the overall odds as pretty spot on -- though a little steep on the Warriors. Per our odds, the Warriors should be listed around somewhere around -250 and -280. That's just the price you pay for backing the heavy favorites, though.
The Raptors, based on a 29.7% win probability, should be listed in the +225 to +235 range, so there isn't much wiggle room on these efficient lines, and the best way to get action on the series may be individual game lines as we get more information about Durant and Cousins.
That or through player props.
FanDuel Sportsbook also has player props to pick from, and we have projected out the first four games of the series to help identify some possible value.
Per our projections through Game 4 -- anything after that isn't a guarantee -- Kawhi Leonard is poised for 131.1 points (nearly 33 per game), while Stephen Curry is projected for 122.2 (30.6 per game). Klay Thompson (99.8), Pascal Siakam (83.6), and Kyle Lowry (70.7) are the only others with odds with more than 50 projected points through the first four contests.
Total rebounds are projected to be a bit closer, understandably, and that makes Draymond Green a tough bet to back. Sure, he leads the charge with 9.1 boards per game via our projections, but he has competition.
Pascal Siakam (8.8 projected rebounds per game), Leonard (8.8), and Serge Ibaka (7.0) are all close enough to Green to make him a tough value to stomach at -220. Marc Gasol at 6.40 boards per game at long odds is also worth consideration, though we do project Gasol for shy of 30 minutes per contest.
Another category where the bookmakers like Green more than our odds. Through four games, we project Green for 33.0 assists, compared to 40.0 for Lowry and 24.7 for Curry. Kawhi is set for 17.5 through Game 4. The algorithm, then, views Lowry as the smartest bet to make here.
While the Raptors showed what they can do against a great team in the Bucks -- who were the most efficient squad in the regular season according to our metrics -- the numbers still favor the Warriors by a good margin. The lines don't offer an overabundance of value, but individual games and player props do.
To check out our detailed game-by-game projections, peep our projections page.
numberFire's Most Likely Outcome: Warriors in 6
numberFire's Pick to Win: Warriors (70.3%)