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Warriors – Raptors



Warriors Raptors Game 6 Oracle Arena last game

With the Toronto Raptors leading the series 3-2, the Golden State Warriors will attempt to force a Game 7 in these NBA Finals on Thursday night. This will be the last ever game at the legendary Oracle Arena in Oakland, before the Warriors move across the Golden State bridge to San Francisco next season.

The Warriors managed to stay alive by stealing Game 5 in Toronto a few nights ago when they were down 1-3 in the series. Kevin Durant returned for the Warriors, gave them some early production, but re-injured himself after 12 minutes and will now definitely miss the rest of the finals. Even without KD, the Warriors were still able to finish the job as Klay Thompson and Steph Curry hit some big shots late to force one last game at the Oracle Arena. They will surely be very confident of winning tonight and push the series to a deciding Game 7 in Canada.

The Raptors have looked like the better team in this series, especially in the last three games, and it seemed that they will finish off the Warriors in Game 5. The Raptors were leading by 6 points with 3 minutes to go after a Kawhi Leonard explosion and the champagne was literally on its way to the sidelines. However, Toronto was not able to close the deal, they only scored 2 points the rest of the way and it would not be a stretch to say they chocked under pressure.

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Team news: The Warriors will miss Kevin Durant, while Kevon Looney is questionable, but expected to play (according to his own words). The Raptors have no injuries or suspensions.

It`s probably fair to say that the Raptors have been the better team so far in this series, as their 3-2 lead suggests. They definitely have looked better for most of the series. Even in Game 5 they only lost by 1 point despite shooting much worse percentages than the Warriors. Looking at the field goal % from three, you would have expected the Warriors to win by 15. However, the Raptors are now in dangerous territory.

The Raptors had a golden chance in Game 5, they had the game almost won, and then the Warriors showed their championship DNA. They were clutch in the last minutes, while the Raptors chocked.

Now the Warriors will be extra confident. They went into Game 5 knowing they came back from 1-3 once before. Now, having won that game, they will feel like the series is back on even terms. They will certainly be pumped up for the last ever game at Oracle Arena, where the fans are expected to be crazy. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how the Raptors will react to losing Game 5 despite having it almost won, with the trophy and champagne on their way to the sidelines. It`s surely possible that they will be deflated, as they do not have the experience of being in situations like these – while the Warriors do.

Even if the Warriors are down 2-3 the momentum is starting to change in their favor. A good start in Game 6 would be a definite momentum shifter, and that may well happen with the help of the Oracle Arena crowd. It`s hard to see the Warriors losing the championship in the final game at Oracle. Of course, this series has been strange, with 4 of the 5 wins coming on the road, and with the Raptors winning both games at Oracle. But obviously that won`t last forever, as the law of averages proves.

I picked the Warriors in 3 of the 5 games in this series (would have picked them in 4 of 5, but did not have the time to finish my preview on Game 2, which they won). After escaping Game 5, I am definitely picking them again at Oracle Arena to push this series to a deciding Game 7. As I said in the previous game (and it proved to be correct), championship DNA and experience make an underrated impact in big games like these. The Warriors are 6-1 in elimination games since their dynasty began.

My tip is the Warriors to win. Their wins in this series have been close, so I`m satisfied with the straight win instead of risking a handicap at only slightly higher odds (even though I do think they will cover the spread). I will go with 10/10 stakes though. Prediction: Golden State Warriors – Toronto Raptors 116 – 105.

Pick: Warriors
Odds: 1.74 @ Unibet
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 7.40
Event date: 14 June

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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