What a wild season it’s been leading us up to this point, with Game 1 of the NBA Finals just around the corner, kicking off in Toronto on June 1st! We preview the first of a potential seven-game series here, as well as providing our best bet pick. Check it out below and good luck to everyone following!
NBA Finals: Game 1 Betting Tips
The Raptors 58-24 record was just a touch better than the Warriors in the regular season at 57-25, meaning the latter will not have home court advantage in the Finals for the first time in their five-year run. Of course, this means that the Raptors will host both Games 1 and 2 of the series, which are always two of the most important games. So without further ado, let’s take a look at how both teams are looking ahead of Game 1.
The Raptors have had a fairly tough route to their first ever NBA Finals in their club’s history. Finishing as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors have had to grind out wins in the playoffs, particularly agains the Bucks where they trailed 2-0 and managed to come back with four straight wins. It’ll be interesting to see how some of their inexperienced guys handle the added pressure of the Finals, although their Conference Finals series with the Bucks showed us that they’re more than up for the challenge.
Despite the inexperience of the vast majority of their roster in terms of NBA Finals games, they still have a handful of players that have been there and done it before, namely superstar Kawhi Leonard. Leonard already has a Championship with the Spurs where he was also the Finals MVP in just his second year in the league, which would give him great confidence ahead of Game 1. We expect him to lead the way early in the series, starting off with a bang in their first game in Toronto.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have made the NBA Finals for the fifth straight year, which is already a remarkable feat in itself. Like most teams, the Warriors have had to overcome many obstacles en route to the position they’re in – they’ve had to deal with numerous injuries to star players and the pending free agency decision of superstar Kevin Durant. Despite all that, they have a chance to win their third straight title and create some more incredible history.
The Warriors will likely be without both DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant for Game 1 of the finals, which obviously makes it a much harder task on the road against a great Raptors team. They do however, have stars in Curry, Thompson, and Green who are already proven in big matches and will be doing their best to cover the absence of the players mentioned above.
The famous theory of rest vs rust will be tested once again in Game 1. The Warriors come in off a nine day break, whereas the Raptors have had just the four days off court since their Game 6 win over the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s always a hotly debated topic, but we believe it could play a big part in Game 1 in Toronto. Add in the absence of Durant, we see the Raptors getting off to a winning start in this series and putting the pressure on the defending champs.