May 26, 2019
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Warriors heavy favorites over Raptors for Finals – ESPN


playRaptors oust Bucks, reach 1st ever NBA Finals (2:18)Kawhi Leonard leads the Raptors past the Bucks in Game 6 with a 100-94 win giving Toronto their first ever NBA Finals appearance. (2:18)12:10 AM ETDavid PurdumESPN Staff Writer Close Joined ESPN in 2014
Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008With or without Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors are the favorites in the NBA Finals for a fifth consecutive year.Caesars Sportsbook installed the two-time defending champion Warriors as -320 favorites to beat the Toronto Raptors in the Finals. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday in Toronto. Golden State opened as a 1-point road favorite in Game 1.The Warriors are entering their fifth consecutive Finals. They were favored in the past four Finals series, all coming against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and won three of the past four titles.Durant missed all four games of the Warriors’ sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals with a calf injury. He is unlikely to play in Game 1, Golden State said Thursday. Regardless, the Warriors are heavy favorites.Late Saturday night, the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas opened Golden State as a -275 favorite in the Finals. SuperBook executive director John Murray told ESPN that the price reflected the possibility of Durant playing in the series. The Warriors have won 31 of their past 32 games when Stephen Curry plays and Durant does not. They are 34-4 in those games overall.The SuperBook raised the price on Golden State to -310 minutes after posting.”[We] took a bet at -275 right away,” Murray said in a text message.Toronto opened as a +260 underdog in the series at Caesars Sportsbook. In the past eight Finals, only last season’s Cavaliers were larger underdogs to start than the Raptors.Toronto erased an 0-2 deficit to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals and advanced to the franchise’s first NBA Finals with a comeback victory in Saturday night’s Game 6.The Raptors won both meetings with the Warriors this season: 131-128 in overtime in Toronto on Nov. 29 and 113-93 in Oakland, California, on Dec. 12.

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