By Eli Hershkovich
With 3:05 left in Game 5, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse called a timeout with Toronto possessing a six-point cushion. The Warriors live moneyline was +890 (betting $100 to win a $990 net profit) at the time, and keep in mind, they opened the seriesat -330 to win the NBA title.
Nurse’s crew went on to score two points the rest of the way, which came via a goaltending call, and Golden State cashed in with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson stringing together their final nine points down the stretch. The road team/underdog has won each of the past four games in these NBA Finals, as Golden State opened at +110 moneyline for Game 5.
The Warriors’ series odds sat at +500 before Kevin Durant’s injury status was updated on Sunday. If they pull off a comeback, it’d be the second-largest mid-series upset in the NBA playoffs since the Cleveland Cavaliers (+1150) overcame a 3-1 series deficit against Golden State in 2016.
Updated series odds
Golden State +240
Updated MVP odds
Kawhi Leonard -323
Stephen Curry +240
Draymond Green 40-1
Klay Thompson 63-1
Pascal Siakam 100-1
Kyle Lowry 100-1
Game 6 odds
Warriors -3.5 (Over/Under 211)
Moneyline: Golden State -170; Raptors +150
Did I call-out Nurse earlier? Absolutely. But Toronto is still the more talented team with Durant out due to a torn Achilles.
Although the Raptors have never won a NBA title, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green each boast enough playoff experience to help their teammates overcome the mental hurdle of their Game 5 collapse. I’d expect positive regression from their offensive attack after shooting 1-of-6 with a turnover over the final 3:05, along with going 8-of-32 (25.0%) from 3-point land overall.
They’re also 13-7 against the spread (65.0%) as single-digit underdogs this season —three of those wins coming as outright victories in Golden State. On the flip side, the Warriors are 14-29-1 ATS (32.6%) when favored by 3 to 9.5 points this season, and they’re bound to come back down to earth after hitting 20 3-pointers on Monday. Even if Steve Kerr’s squad comes out on top, the final outcome should be tight.
Lean: Raptors +3.5