NBA Refs for Game 5 of NBA Finals Offer Mixed Bag According to Recent Trend

By Braulio Perez
2019 NBA Finals - Game Three
2019 NBA Finals - Game Three / Lachlan Cunningham

Cover Photo: Getty Images

As we get ready for Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, the update everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived. No, we're not talking about Kevin Durant either.

We're talking about the NBA referees who will be taking the floor this evening for what could be the last game of the NBA Finals, with the Toronto Raptors holding a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors. And this Monday afternoon we learned James Capers, Jason Phillips and Ed Malloy will take the hardwood.

Why does this matter to sports bettors? Because NBA home teams seem to be slight favorites whenever these three have whistles in their hands. Entering the NBA Finals, home teams have covered the spread on 52.6 percent of games officiated by Capers, 52.8 percent for Malloy and 49.3 percent for Phillips.

This isn't the first NBA Finals game for Capers and Phillips, who were both in action for Game 1. As you might recall, the Raptors entered that contest as 1-point home favorites and went on to win that game, 118-109. Malloy worked Game 2, which saw an underdog Warriors' team win to even up the series.

The Raptors are currently -200 favorites to win Game 5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. And with Malloy, Capers and Phillips calling this one, it seems like it might end up being a toss-up. With Kevin Durant's status up in the air as well, it only adds to the intrigue for tonight's contest in Toronto.

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