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Raptors – Warriors

Raptors Warriors NBA Finals Game 5 handicapping

The Toronto Raptors will attempt to close out the Golden State Warriors at home in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, as the Canadiens took a shocking 3-1 lead over the two time reigning Champions.

The Raptors split the first two games at home, as the series moved to Oakland tied at 1-1. It looked like the Raptors might be in trouble, but they surprisingly pulled off two wins on the road against the mighty Warriors. If the win in Game 3 wasn`t that shocking considering that the Warriors were badly hobbled by injuries, the win in Game 4 was definitely a shock – especially as the Raptors came back from double digits down to win 105-92.

The Warriors face a 1-3 deficit in a series for the second time since their dynasty began in 2014-2015. Three seasons ago they came back against the OKC Thunder in the Conference finals, despite seeming completely outmatched after four games – only to lose a 3-1 advantage of their own in the following finals against the Cavs, right before Kevin Durant joined them. The Warriors will face a monumental task in trying to win the next three games against the Raptors considering that two of them will be on the road.

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Team news: The Raptors will again be at full health, while the Warriors are also healthier than they have been in a long time. The only injury concern for the Dubs remains Kevin Durant, who is questionable for tonight and could return after missing one month of action.

The first two games of this series went pretty much as expected, with the Warriors stealing one on the road to put themselves in pole position for the rest of the series.

However, they found themselves in a very difficult position in Game 3 when they had to play without Looney and especially Thompson (without Durant as well, of course). Steph Curry was magnificent in that one but had absolutely no help, the Raptors shot lights out and won it.

Warriors definitely had excuses for losing Game 3 with so many injuries, but they looked set to get back on track in Game 4, with Looney and Thompson coming back. They lost it, and it was a shocker. The Raptors were dominant in the second half, they were simply better all around and the Warriors (who couldn`t hit a shot for the second game in a row in the second half) did not have an answer in a 13 point loss.

After what we saw in Game 4, the Raptors look like the better team right now. But as we well know, these impressions can change from game to game.

The Raptors definitely have a chance to end it all tonight if they keep playing at the same level, but the Warriors will not simply lay down and die. This is a Championship team which came back from 1-3 before, and which won big games on the road before. They just did it a few weeks ago against the Rockets, when nobody gave them a chance without Kevin Durant.

Having watched the press conferences and interviews, the Warriors seem pretty optimistic and confident considering the circumstances. They know they won games like these before and affirmed their belief they can do it again, so that is a good sign for them. In fact, the Warriors have often played better when their backs were against the wall.

KD’s potential return could help the Dubs, but that is not something you can count on, and even if he plays he will definitely be (very) limited in performance and minutes.

I backed the Warriors pretty much every game since KD went down, so there`s no way I`m changing that today, especially with odds on them so high. Neither outcome would be surprising tonight, but experience is often underrated at this level and the Warriors have tons of it. My tip will be Golden State to win and extend the series. Prediction: Toronto Raptors – Golden State Warriors 98 – 106.

Pick: Warriors
Odds: 2.10 @ Unibet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 8.80
Event date: 11 June

About Rostick

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