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NBA FINALS PREVIEW

May 30, 2019

FULL PLAYOFF DATA AND SERIES PICKS

NBA FINALS PREVIEW 

(See Below For Series/Game 1 Investments)

 

TORONTO RAPTORS PLAYOFF DATA:

Points Scored/Game: 104.9

Points Allowed/Game: 99.6

Points Differential: +5.3

 

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS PLAYOFF DATA:

?Points Scored/Game: +117.3

Points Against/Game: +110.5

Points Differential: +6.8

 

This is going to be a fascinating series to analyze and watch and the Toronto Raptors bring a refreshing opponent for the Golden State Warriors instead of a 5th consecutive Lebron James-Cavaliers matchup. We all know what Golden State is all about. Pure dynasty. 5th straight NBA Finals appearance. Revolutionary offense that will shoot the lights out from 3-point range. However, Toronto actually matches up as good as you can versus Golden State and the Raptors might shock the basketball world with how close they can make this series. For as long as Kevin Durant is sidelined (his travel to Toronto for a possible Game 2 appearance is likely a smokescreen as he has been spotted still limping and not yet practicing), the Raptors have the best player in the world putting up historical performances. Toronto has an elite, lockdown defense (an absolute must for beating GSW) that just held this year's highest scoring team in the Bucks to -11.8 points below their season average. Since Golden State is the overwhelming favorite, let's analyze the biggest X-Factors for Toronto in keeping this series close, and get into our Series and Game 1 Investments:

 

 

Both of them won't be stopped, but at least one of these 3-point specialists need to be neutralized. Good news for Toronto is that Klay Thompson is already performing way under his career post-season efficiencies averaging just 19 points and 2.8 three-pointers made per game. Toronto needs to keep him here and they will have a phenomenal chance to win every game. Steph Curry's playoff efficiencies are also down this year averaging 27.3 points per game on 4.3 three-pointers made per game. This would also be a very desirable zone for the Raptors to keep Curry in as well. This has been versus much inferior defenses to Toronto in Clippers (25th ranked defense), Rockets (10th ranked defense), Blazers (14th ranked defense). If Toronto can manage to keep Curry and Thompson to under 50 combined points and 10 combined three-pointers then they will have a phenomenal chance to win every game. 

 

 

Aside from Steph and Klay, Draymond Green is third on the Warriors averaging just 13.6 points per game. Igoudala barely hits 10 and everyone else is far below double-digits. The trio of Van Vleet, Powell, Ibaka were key factors in Toronto's turnaround versus the Bucks. From Game 3 onward, this trio averaged 35.5 points per game. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 31.2 points per game and don't forget about Kyle Lowry (14.7 points/game) and Pascal Siakam (18.7 points per game). Depth advantage definitely goes to the Raptors here and it's actually not even close with Kevin Durant not in the lineup. 

 

 

Toronto held a Milwaukee Bucks team that was averaging 118 points in the regular season and two playoff rounds to nearly 12-points under this (106.3). They possess a defense which has emerged as the best in the league, which is a necessity for playing Golden State. The Raptors held the Bucks to just 31% from 3-point range, -5.2% under their season efficiencies. Toronto has held all 3 playoff opponents to just 31.3% in their 18 games. The Warriors are shooting 37.1% from 3-point range this post-season. The Raptors are shooting 34%, just -2.6% below the Warriors. Toronto employs the same aggressive catch-and-shoot offensive scheme (see graphics above). However, it would be foolish to think the Raptors can out-shoot them. If Toronto can keep this 3-point efficiency narrowed within the 2% range, they will have a chance. 

 

SERIES INVESTMENTS:

 

SERIES TO FINISH IN GAME 7: 0.5 UNIT (+250)

EXACT SERIES RESULT GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS WIN IN 7 GAMES: 0.5 UNIT (+550)

EXACT SERIES RESULT TORONTO RAPTORS WIN IN 7 GAMES: 0.5 UNIT (+550)

 

Not convinced the Raptors are able to pull off the borderline unthinkable upset, but a full analysis on both teams shows this can absolutely be a close series. We don't like to put too much stock into regular season, but Toronto won both games by a point differential of +23. This is going to be a battle. We expect to see Kevin Durant at some point as the series progresses, but his absence gives the Raptors a massive chance to steal some games early. Without taking them to actually pull off the upset, we are going to embrace the value the Raptors bring and are looking to cash in on every outcome in a realistic long 7-game series. If the Raptors pull off the upset, it is not going to be in 5 or less games and it would be absolutely shocking if they did it at The Oracle in Game 6. The Rockets took Golden State to 6 games and they are a much inferior team to the Raptors. Harden doesn't compare to Kawhi as the team superstar and the Raptors have exponentially better defense. We certainly see Toronto winning 2 games and these series bets will be up to them to push the envelope to Game 7 like Houston could not. There is a realistic probability this series reaches 7 games, and if it does, we will be cashing in a healthy, guaranteed +3.5 units. 

 

?GAME 1 INVESTMENTS:

 

TORONTO RAPTORS FULL GAME SPREAD -1.5: 0.5 UNIT (-110)

Up to 75-80% of public dollars are pouring in on Golden State. Despite this, we have seen reverse line movement moving 2.5 points the Raptors way. Golden State has been off for 10 days and are entering a hostile environment in Toronto where the Raptors have won 5 in a row and are 5-2 (71.4%) in the playoffs. Golden State lost the first game in Houston and 2 out of 3 in Houston in the series. We will be supporting the Raptors in Game 1.

 

OVER 213.5 POINTS: 0.5 UNIT (-110)

 

Golden State games in the playoffs have an average combined game score of 227.8. Toronto games in the playoffs have an average combined game score of 204.5. The median score here is 216.15 points, +2.65 points above our game total. Toronto has the lockdown defense, but Golden State allows 110.5 points per game in the playoffs and these are 2 of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA. The over has hit in 10 of the Warriors last 15 games (66.6%), over in 5 of their last 6 games (83.3%), and in 4 of the last 5 games versus Toronto (80%). 

 

KLAY THOMPSON UNDER 21.5 POINTS: 0.5 UNIT (-105)

STEPH CURRY UNDER 31.5 POINTS: 0.5 UNIT (-110)

 

Thompson is averaging just 19 points in 16 games this postseason. This dips to 17.9 points on the road. This is -3 and -4.1 points below the 22 points needed for him to go over. Steph Curry is averaging 27.3 points per game in 16 games this postseason. This dips to 26.3 points on the road. This is -4.2 points and -5.7 points below the 32 points needed for him to go over.