The Golden State Warriors will begin the defense of their NBA title Thursday, visiting the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals as slim 1-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Golden State will be well-rested after enjoying a nine-day layoff following its four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals and rides a six-game straight-up win streak into Thursday night’s Warriors vs. Raptors Game 1 matchup at Scotiabank Arena.
The Warriors’ domination of the Trail Blazers came on the heels of much more difficult clashes with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets in the first two rounds of the postseason. Golden State needed six games and a trio of road victories to get past the Clippers in the opening round, and it once again capped off a series victory with a Game 6 win in Houston to eliminate the Rockets from the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
However, the Warriors have been far from dominant at the sportsbooks during their march to a fifth straight berth in the NBA Finals. Golden State has posted against-the-spread-wins in consecutive games just once while racking up a 7-8-1 ATS record in 16 outings this spring, but it showed signs of turning the corner in its most recent outings, going 3-1-1 ATS in its past five games.
The Warriors’ winning tradition also has buoyed them on the NBA series prices, where they sit as -280 favorites to capture a third straight NBA title. But Golden State has struggled against Toronto this season, falling to defeat in a pair of meetings by an average margin of 11.5 points.
While the Warriors had dominated the Raptors with SU wins in 17 of 19 meetings prior to this season, they regularly have disappointed bettors when facing Toronto, going 2-5-1 ATS in their past eight head-to-head matchups, including a 1-2-1 ATS mark in their past four trips north of the border.
The Raptors enter their first-ever trip to the NBA Finals on a high after overcoming a 2-0 series deficit in their Eastern Conference Finals clash with the Milwaukee Bucks, tallying four straight character wins to dispatch the top team in the NBA during the regular season and pay out on the +215 odds at which they opened the series.
However, Toronto’s playoff success has not lifted its odds on the NBA series prices entering the NBA Finals, where it sits well back of the defending champions as +230 underdogs.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports