NBA Betting Trends Suggest Raptors Will Protect Home Court in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Dan Israeli
Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are 1-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, in their Game 1 NBA Finals matchup with the Golden State Warriors, and the regular season numbers back it up.

The Raptors were an impressive 39-11 straight up as home favorites in the regular season, but only 24-26 against the spread (ATS), implying that they won most of those games by close margins.

The Warriors, on the other hand, were 5-5 straight up as road underdogs during the regular season and 6-4 ATS. It's a small sample, but any way you slice it the Dubs were reduced to a .500ish team when they were road dogs during the 2018-19 regular season.

While the Warriors are 18-1 straight up in their last 19 playoff series openers, most of those wins have come as home favorites. The Raptors are 8-2 straight up at home during these playoffs, with both losses coming in the first and second rounds against the Magic and Sixers. The Raptors were a perfect 3-0 at home against the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

More encouraging for the Raps, they swept their season series (2-0) against the Dubs. The first win was a November overtime thriller in Toronto that the Raptors won by a score of 131-128, while the second win at Golden State in December, 113-98, came with Kawhi Leonard on the sidelines. In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it will be a healthy Raptors squad going against a Warriors team still missing Kevin Durant.

So while the margin of victory should remain close, the Raptors look like a solid bet to begin their first ever NBA Finals. Although, the public certainly doesn't think so, with 78 percent of bets currently counting on the defending champs.


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