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June 13th, 2019 NBA Betting Tips: Warriors-Raptors Game 6

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

Last night, the NHL Stanley Cup champion was crowned as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins. It was the St. Louis Blues first ever championship win. Could we see another team hoist the championship for the first time in franchise history tonight?

The Warriors clawed back with a win in game five, thanks in part to a huge performance in the first quarter from Kevin Durant. By now, everyone should know how that story ended and he won’t be here to help them today. The Raptors came back and nearly won things before a disastrous final two minutes. They’ll get their chance to right the ship and hoist the trophy today.

For the Warriors, this will be the last ever game in the Oracle Arena. The place that has rocked for some many great playoff games over the years. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors letting that place go out on the memory of another team hoisting the championship, but who knows if that’s up to them at this point with all the injuries they’ve had.

As always, we’re rooting for game seven and more basketball but tonight could very well be the end.

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Graeme: Game 5 between the Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors was quite the game.

It’s one of those games where all the headlines and analysis are not about the gameplay itself. Instead it is about Durant’s injury, the fans reaction, the timeout at the end, whether Durant should have played etc etc

What about the game itself?

Raptors seemed off all game. If it wasn’t for the KD injury I have no doubt that would have ended up a blowout victory for the Warriors. Or if Stephen Curry would just realize that hey he can’t get EVERY three pointer in – that let the Raptors back into the game. His run of misses combined with Kawhi getting hot out of nowhere and it almost cost the Warriors the game.

The Raptors struggled big time with the 3 pointers in this game. Warriors also hit a whopping 48%.

There’s a lot of narrative thinking the Warriors will be fired up for this one however I don’t know if that’s the case. They’ve had plenty of times to get fired up and it just isn’t happening.

Raptors overall had a bad performance. Pascal Siakam ghosted everyone all night.

It’s really a case of the Raptors here – do they perform that badly again? I can’t see it. And even though they performed badly, they still came within a whisker of winning that game.

Despite the narrative, the Raptors didn’t “choke” nor did Lowry. They just had a bad game yet still almost won. I can’t see that performance repeating itself.

Raptors +2.5

Americans: Where To Bet the NBA Playoffs

Sportsbook: Reason:
Bovada 50% to $250 Welcome Bonus
5Dimes Best odds, reduced juice.

Vin: I’m really of two minds about this game. On the one hand, the Raptors have outplayed the Warriors anytime that Kevin Durant hasn’t been on the floor. They nearly won game five and probably would’ve if it wasn’t for the worst timeout possible and a bad end of the game from their team. They are looking like the better team as the Warriors injury woes have just been too much.

On the other hand, that win was the win of a tough team that has been here before. They really dug deep in those final minutes and pulled one out of a hat. They are still outmatched in the series, but at the same time I can’t picture them going 0-3 at Oracle. I can’t see them ending their years of play in Oakland with a sweep of their home games. That’s just… insane.

So, I really don’t know what to think here. The Raptors are most likely going to win the NBA Championship and the Warriors are going to lose this one, but I just can’t go for it to tonight. The Warriors have proven time and time again that they can show up in a big moment and this is just about the biggest moment of all-time. We are yet to see that Klay Thompson game where he carries his team like no other. That could swing it. We have had a dominant series from Stephen Curry as he’s shown just exactly how tough he is. I just can’t count these guys out right now even though my brain says that this series is over.

Bet Warriors -2.5

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June 10th, 2019 NBA Betting Tips: Raptors/Warriors Game 5

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

The Raptors took a commanding 3-1 lead in game four as they swept the games in Oakland and now have a chance to clinch their first-ever championship at home tonight. The big question surrounding this game (and series) is: Will Durant play tonight? There were reports about him practicing yesterday and if it went well that he might play. Well, he practiced and then he left the facility before the rest of his teammates so nobody really knows what’s going on.

Golden State has been one of the best road playoff teams in history over this run so tonight isn’t quite as overwhelming as you might expect it to be. The one game they won in this series was on the road and this is definitely new ground for the non-Kawhi members of the Raptors roster. The pressure is going to be high tonight.

Whatever the result, this should be great.

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Graeme: The NBA Championship series could be over tonight, as the Toronto Raptors, 3-1 up in the series, host the Golden State Warriors.

Warriors have only won one game in this series and it was in Toronto. Personally, I’d say that the Warriors best performances were in Toronto. Game 4 they just looked off.

The big question is on Kevin Durant. There appears to be some frustrations in the camp about him sitting out injured while others are playing through injuries. Of course, that could just be the media trying to stir things up or set a narrative.

The Warriors are a team you generally have faith in but having seen them lose that last game, and the way it went down, I honestly don’t believe they have what it takes.

As of this writing, Durant isn’t back yet however even if he is I don’t know if that will be enough. Personally, I’d risk it. It might be enough to lift the team and prior to his injury, he was in beast mode.
However, he obviously won’t be 100%.

The Warriors have had defensive issues all year that they’ve been able to cover up but it’s coming to a head against the Raptors. That’s not something that can change overnight.

This isn’t the Raptors that blow games anymore. They’ve come a long way since the very first playoff game this season. So many superstars have been built.

Raptors -1.5

Americans: Where To Bet the NBA Playoffs

Sportsbook: Reason:
Bovada 50% to $250 Welcome Bonus
5Dimes Best odds, reduced juice.

Vin: I just have a hard time seeing it end like this. The Warriors have been the ultimate dynasty in basketball for the past five years and it has only taken a crazy rash of injuries to get them to this point where losing is a real possibility. It’s crazy just how many things have gone wrong for the Warriors in this series. From injuries to Kevin Durant to Klay Thomson to Kevon Looney and DeMarcus Cousins. This team has really had to fight to even get to this point.

That is taking absolutely nothing away from the Raptors. Their defense in game four was a thing of beauty and Kawhi Leonard really took over that game on both ends of the floor. He is that unique kind of player that gets better and stronger in the playoffs. With him healthy and playing like this, it’s really hard for me to see the Raptors losing the series at this point.

Just not yet. The Warriors are, well, warriors. They are built for adversity and whether Durant plays or not, they are going to come out strong here. They are not going to go quietly into the long night.

Warriors +1.5

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June 7th, 2019 NBA Betting Tips: Warriors/Raptors Game 4

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

The Raptors did what they needed to do in game three as they defeated the Warriors without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. If they had lost that game, they might as well have thrown in the towel on this series. Thompson will be back for tonight’s game and now things get interesting. This now becomes a must-win for the Warriors to avoid heading back to Toronto with a chance to lose the series.

It remains to be seen if Durant will be back for this series which really makes things more even. The Warriors original trio is uber dangerous though and they should come out firing here. Stephen Curry had one of his best games in playoffs history in game three and I don’t expect him to suddenly turn that off for this one.

Tonight should be fun.

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Graeme: I said that if the Raptors were to win the NBA Championship they’d have to win Game 3 and they went out and did so.

It was an excellent team performance. In saying that, Stephen Curry was absolutely insane and I almost felt bad for him that he threw in that type of performance for nothing.

Raptors did a great job of cutting off the momentum of the Warriors whenever they got going – or Warriors would stiff a 3 or something and give it right back to the Raptors. I had taken the Warriors knowing that Raptors would have to be at their best even without KD/Klay – unfortunately, they were.

In saying that I did feel it was still a winnable game for the Warriors. Draymond had a bad game that cost them as well.

The Toronto Raptors have now rightly moved to favourites to win the NBA Championship.

Oddly enough the Warriors have now scored exactly 109 points each game.

Kevin Durant is out of Game 4. Klay is likely back tonight and boy do they need him.

It’s an interesting mindset thing going on. Durant is expected back for Game 5 it looks like and Warriors may be prepared for that and to run the board knowing they’re back at full strength. So I wonder how much effort they put into this one.

Raptors meanwhile knowing KD is likely back – this game is more important than ever.

Raps either win or keep it close. Raptors +4.5

Americans: Where To Bet the NBA Playoffs

Sportsbook: Reason:
Bovada 50% to $250 Welcome Bonus
5Dimes Best odds, reduced juice.

Vin:

That was definitely a huge win for the Raptors, but the thing that sticks out to me is how many chances that the Warriors had. They were able to get the lead down to seven or eight points multiple times, but then something would happen to take it away. A big turnover, a missed three, something and the Raptors would extend it. I honestly feel like if the Warriors had played better defense they might’ve been able to steal this one.

The good news for the Warriors is that they are going to get one of their best defensive players back for this game in Klay Thompson. His loss was definitely felt in game three on both ends of the court. There has been a lot of criticism about sitting him in the last game, but you have to be careful with these things. If he is even 10% stronger in this game than he would’ve been, that makes a huge difference.

We got a superlative performance from Stephen Curry in game three, but he just didn’t have enough around him to get it done. With the Warriors backs against the wall, I expect them to come out strong here. This is the greatest team of this century and they are not going to lose back-to-back games in the Finals at home. I just don’t believe that and I think we get a tied series tonight. Warriors -4.5

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June 5th, 2019 NBA Betting Tips: Warriors/Raptors Game 3

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

The NBA Finals have not gone how the NBA would like so far. The best player in the NBA, Kevin Durant, has been missing in action for the first two games and he’ll once again be out for the third. To make matters worse, Klay Thompson is also listed as questionable for the game tonight. What is supposed to be the showcase of the best players in the league has turned into a struggle to survive for the Warriors.

The good news is that the Warriors are one of the greatest teams ever so even without their superstars, they are still pretty dang good. Kawhi Leonard has done an admirable job leading the Raptors this far, but we have yet to see the kind of superlative performance that he has become known for during this run. Could tonight be the night?

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Graeme: If the Toronto Raptors are going to win the NBA Championship, they need to win tonights game. Simple as that.

There is no better chance than tonight. KD has been ruled out. Klay is questionable and even if he plays he won’t be 100%.

Despite this, the sportsbooks still favour the Warriors. They’re 4.5 point favourites going into this crucial Game 3.

Raptors were fairly solid during the regular season on the road, and have come to the Oracle and win previously. Warriors aren’t invincible at home, as we saw when the Clippers beat them twice in their series at the Oracle Arena. The Toronto Raptors have had no issues with going into opposition territory and getting crucial wins throughout the playoffs.

To me, this feels like one of those head vs heart things. The smart play 100% is the Raptors in my opinion with the injuries on the Warriors side. However, my heart says the Warriors take it. The Oracle is NOT an easy place to come to and on a night like this, the Warriors will thrive under the noise.

I’m going with Warriors -4.5. With or without Klay, I think the home crowd is going to spur the Warriors on and we see a surprisingly lopsided victory.

Americans: Where To Bet the NBA Playoffs

Sportsbook: Reason:
Bovada 50% to $250 Welcome Bonus
5Dimes Best odds, reduced juice.

Vin: I wholeheartedly agree with Graeme that if the Raptors are going to win the NBA Championship then tonight is their night. With Klay Thompson questionable and hobbled at best for the Warriors, this is their shot. His game relies on moving quickly around the court and getting that jumper off. That is a lot of stress on the legs and if he plays, I just don’t see him being all that effective. That puts a lot of pressure on players like Quinn Cook and Andre Iguodala (who has him own injury woes), a pressure that is simply not good for their game.

While I love Stephen Curry and think he is one of the greatest players in NBA history, the Raptors should be able to fully gameplan around him and make his life very difficult. The Warriors got a great contribution from DeMarcus Cousins in game two, but an added focus on him really works against what this team does best.

The Warriors have relied on big second halves and third quarters during this run, and without Klay I just don’t see that as likely. Taking the Raptors and the points here. Raptors +4.5

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June 2, 2019 NBA Betting Tips: Raptors/Warriors Game 2

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

The Warriors look to extend their 1-0 lead in the series with another home game tonight in Toronto. The first game was really all Raptors as they came out with a big lead in the first half and never looked back. This win was all the more impressive as Kawhi Leonard did not have the type of dominant game that he has become known for in these playoffs.

Golden State will once again be without Kevin Durant for this one. That puts Toronto in a really interesting position going into this game. They could take a 2-0 lead with a win tonight which would be huge for their franchise, especially having never been here before.

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Graeme: What an incredible game Game 1 was.

Here in Kingston, Ontario we set up a big screen in the Market Square to watch the game. It was pretty cool getting that live atmosphere. Here’s a picture of it courtesy of Kingston Events:

It was pretty much all Raptors fans and everyone was going crazy. Great atmosphere. I personally bet on the Warriors +1.5 and then Warriors +6.5 at the half, and still found myself swept up in it and cheering on the Raps.

Anyway, Game 1 is in the books and the Raptors ran out 118-109 winners. Guys like Fred Van Vleet and Pascal Siakam really stepped up and it was a well excuted game plan by the Raps.

Warriors struggled which left many people saying they need KD. Really though it was just a rare team performance from the Raps. Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard didn’t do what they usually do but it didn’t matter as the Raps killed it with great pace and energy. They did a great job at responding to Warriors baskets with fast break layups to stop the Warriors getting any momentum.

Raps also did a great job stopping the pick and roll. End of the day it was just a deserved win for the Raptors.

I’ll be down at the Square again Sunday night and will be cheering on the Raps – but I just can’t see behind the Warriors. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in sports betting is going for a team based on name value alone – but goddamn, it’s the Warriors.

I know they burnt me a few times in the regular season with this thinking but it’s the Championship and I just think they bounce back. Yeah, the Rockets stunned them with two in a row, but I think we see a much different Warriors team.

They’re one of the better sides at making the adjustments needed and I’m going with Warriors +2.

Americans: Where To Bet the NBA Playoffs

Sportsbook: Reason:
Bovada 50% to $250 Welcome Bonus
5Dimes Best odds, reduced juice.

Vin: The Warriors were definitely off in game one and seemingly affected by their long layoff since the end of the Western Conference Finals. This really manifested itself in the first half and it saw the Warriors build a hole they were never able to crawl out of. They played much better in the first half, but were never able to have that sustained run that they’ve become famous for in these playoffs.

The news came in that Durant is out for this game, but Andre Iguodala will play. That first name would really change things if healthy and the second one keeps them in this series. Even with Andre though, I am a bit worried about the role players on this team. If Curry and Thomson aren’t going to combine for 80 points (something that very well could happen) then they need something more from the rest of the crew. They didn’t really get much of it in game one and that ultimately proved to be the difference.

The depth of the Raptors is really the difference in this series. They have so many more players that can contribute on this level and they seem to really be clicking right now. That said, I am not quite ready to count out the Warriors. They are the Warriors after all.

I think the best play tonight is the over. The first game went over this total easily and with a better performance from Golden State, I think they hit it again easily.

Bet Warriors/Raptors Over 214

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NBA Championship 2019 Betting Tips

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

It’s not the NBA playoff finals everyone expected, but tonight will see the beginning of the Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors series to crown the 2019 NBA Champions.

The Golden State Warriors were always expected to get here, but according to NBAFutures.com it was expected to be against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Some sportsbooks even had the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers as higher favourites than the Raptors. Looking at the historical odds, the Raptors were as high as +5500 last year. Yet here they are – just 4 wins away.

Of course despite their incredible performances they are still underdogs to the Warriors.

Here’s our thoughts:

The Warriors Will Win the 2019 NBA Championship:

Vin:
Looking back, we probably should’ve seen the Raptors coming. Their numbers during the season when the Raptors had everyone on the court were fantastic and they were the better team than the Bucks during that time. Heck, I was at a Bucks game where a full Raptors squad beat the Bucks and it looked a lot like some of the games in that series.

They now play one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history in the Finals and we’ll have to see how they do here. On the one hand, we don’t know anything about Kevin Durant‘s injury situation so there is a chance. If he comes back for game two and looks like himself, the Raptors don’t have a chance. If he’s out for more, we’ll see.

I have to lean towards the Warriors though. Their brand of offense is virtually unguardable when these guys are clicking. They move the ball so well and set the right screens, the always seem to find an open shot for Stephen Curry. The Raptors do have a Kawhi Leonard who can just take the ball out of your hand at any point, but they should be in constant motion to keep their guards away from him.

The Warriors aren’t Kawhi proof by any means, he’s going to have some games, but Curry and Klay Thompson are going to get their shots off.

The series starts in Toronto and that is the first time that has happened to the Warriors in their run. You’d think this would be for the Raps, but this Warriors team feeds off of new challenges. They are hearing the stories about starting on the road and the long lay-off and they are chomping at the bit. I think the Warriors +1 in game one is a nice play based on that. This is a challenge for Golden State while this is the first time the Raps have been on this stage.

For the Raptors to have a chance, it’s going to take a lot of Kawhi. One of my favorite bets in the series is Kawhi Over 30.5 points per game in the series. I don’t trust any other player on this team to put up points, I can see him being at least 32 per game.

Even if that happens though, I just can’t bring myself to take the Raps in the series. I believe Durant will be back at some point. I believe that Curry will get his shots and stay hot. I believe that the Raptors key players will fade in this moment. That’s why I’m betting a double result: Golden State Wins Game 1 and the series.

The Raptors Will Win The NBA Championship

Graeme: I live in Canada but I’m not a Raptors fan. Despite that, I watch them and follow them more closely than most teams simply because I’m in Canada and I see more of their media every day etc.

It’s an interesting time here. People who I’ve not heard a peep from during the regular season about the Raptors are now suddenly diehards. Happens with the Jays too.

Bandwagons can be nauseating, but they can also be good things. The energy that the Raptors fans bring will be absolutely insane. The whole country is basically behind them. When you’re outskilled – as the Raptors are – that’s something that you need and can feed off.

Of course that sounds good on paper but it’s not always the case. We’ve seen that before with the Raps and the Jays and at times it means squat.

However we’ve seen this Raps team get here in incredible fashion. So many times it all came down to the one man team of Kawhi Leonard, yet they still delivered. Then the rest of the team would step up and goddamn – the Raptors looked good.

Many are comparing this to David vs Goliath but I really don’t think that is the case. The Warriors have shown a few issues this season. Kevin Durant is out, DeMarcus Cousins is still questionable and even if they do slot him back in – that may mess with the flow somewhat.

Raptors meanwhile have Kawhi Leonard, who is one of the best players in the world. Lowry is a solid player too and we’ve seen the rest of the team step up.

Raptors need to get the rebounds going. They have struggled at that in the playoffs so far and that could be a big issue. Warriors haven’t been too hot at the defensive rebounds however so that could cancel things out. The Raptors have did a solid job at limiting the turnovers and we know that’s where the Warriors usually get a big advantage.

This will be the toughest defense that the Warriors have faced – not just in the playoffs but in the finals. And speaking of tough defenses – that Bucks defense was damn tough, but that didn’t stop the Raptors once they got rolling.

What I have learned is that the Raptors take some time to figure it out – but when they do, they’re unstoppable. Not just the Bucks series but also the 76ers series. Granted that series was 7 games but you saw the Raps figure it out after 3 games and really tie them down in Game 4 and 5.

Do I think the Warriors are overall the better team, and deserved favourites?

Yes.

Do I think the Raptors are worth the bet, considering the skill, the passion and oh yes – the elite game changing abilities of Kawhi?

Yes. Raptors to win the series. They’ll take the Warriors to their limits..

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Raptors vs Bucks Game 6 Betting Tips

Graeme & VinWritten by Graeme & Vin

This is the biggest game of the season thus far. Milwaukee has been the story of the season with their huge jump up the standings and the ascension of Giannis Antetokounmpo as the MVP candidate. It was their story all this time, but the Raptors are refusing to play along.

While much of the talk about Giannis as MVP is well deserved, Kawhi Leonard is making a real case for himself as the best player in the league. His defense has always been the elitest of the elite, but his play in these playoffs has been otherworldly. He’s Michael Jordan on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense. The Raptors defense, especially, in the half court has been devastating and it has really thrown Milwaukee off.

Of course, there has also been games where shooting luck came into play. That happens a lot in this league and there are games that may have been swung with a luckier bounce on a couple of open threes. That’s the NBA, but this Raptors defense has been swarming. There is maybe one player in the league that can shake Giannis and the Raps just happened to have him.

This is a real win-or-go-home game for Milwaukee. They were our Finals pick before this all began. Our confidence is shaken, but we still believe they could make this a seven-gamer. We’ll see tonight.

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Game 6 Betting Tips:

Vin:: I am going with the Bucks here, but I am fairly certain I will know whether I am right or wrong very early into this game. The adjustments that need to be made pretty much all surround how the team reacts to Giannis double teams. If he can make quick, smart decisions then they can start to beat that half court defense.

The three-point shooting should even out. Fred Van Vleet, who was MIA through most of the first two rounds, made up for that big with seven made threes the last time out. The team was giving them to him because the odds were in their favor and he had a hot night. I don’t expect that to happen on either end of the floor here. This is going to be a battle.

The Bucks defense should be better here because it has to be. They need to get moving fast after the rebound and get buckets in transition. The more they play slow half court sets, the more Toronto wins. I think they can do that here and I am looking for a super human performance from Giannis.

Bucks +2.5

Graeme:: I can’t believe we are at this spot where the Raptors have won 3 in a row.

Not only that but the Bucks are playing like something I would never expect. They are playing bad.

You would think they would give it their all tonight. But is that going to be enough? The Raptors need their due as well although I still feel like they have not won the games – more that the Bucks have lost. Gotta take the Bucks tonight.