Raptors Enter NBA Finals Game 2 as Favorites, but Odds Still Favor Warriors in Series

Posted on: June 2, 2019, 01:56h. 

Last updated on: June 2, 2019, 01:56h.

Game 2 of the NBA Finals tips off Sunday night, and once again the Toronto Raptors find themselves favored over the two-time defending champions.

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam scored 32 points in a Game 1 victory over the Warriors on Thursday. Sportsbooks have the Raptors as two-point favorites for Sunday’s Game 2 in Toronto. (Image: ESPN)

Early Sunday afternoon (ET) lines show the Raptors as two-point favorites over the visiting Golden State Warriors. The Raptors are coming off a convincing 118-109 victory in Game 1 Thursday. However, Game 2 may be even more important to the Raptors.

“They’re going to come out swinging, we’re going to come out swinging, and it’s the Finals,” Toronto guard Fred VanVleet said Saturday. “You expect a team’s best shot, and we know we’re going to get it from those guys.”

A loss to the Warriors would allow Golden State to claim home-court advantage in the series, as three of the next four games would take place in Oakland. The Warriors are 6-2 at home in the playoffs this season, and they currently are riding a five-game home winning streak.

The Raptors, meanwhile, are 4-4 in road playoff games.

Durant Still Out

Golden State, which had been hampered by injuries throughout the playoffs, did return a couple of key players in Game 1. Forward Andre Iguodala started, but he appeared to reaggravate a left leg injury that forced him to miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he expects the veteran forward to play Sunday.

Center DeMarcus Cousins played about eight minutes in Game 1, his first action since tearing his left pectoral muscle in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors also expect him to play Sunday night.

However, the biggest missing piece for the Warriors will not return Sunday. Kerr said superstar forward Kevin Durant will not play in Game 2, although team officials have said he’ll likely return for some part of the series.

Kerr stated adamantly that Durant, who strained his right calf, will only play when he’s 100 percent.

It’s not like this is a sore ankle or his knee is sore, and you can play through it. This is a tricky one,” Kerr said. “If you re-injure the calf that’s it, he’s done for the series. When he’s ready to play he’ll play, that’s our approach.”

Steph Curry continued his line of strong performances in the wake of Durant’s absence. He scored a game-high 34 in Thursday’s loss. Klay Thompson added 21, but the Raptors didn’t let anyone else get hot, as no other Warrior scored more than 10 points.

Meanwhile, Toronto had five in double figures, with Pascal Siakam leading the way with 32. Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol added 23 and 20, respectively, while Van Vleet came off the bench to pitch in 15.

Warriors Still Series Favorite

While Golden State has been the underdog for the first two Finals games, they remain the favorites to win the series. However, their hold on that is growing more tenuous by the day.

A week ago, the Warriors had -350 odds at FanDuel to win the series. On Sunday, those odds are now just -136, meaning a $136 bet would net $100. PointsBet offered -304 last week, and now the odds on the Warriors are -150.

Toronto has seen its odds nearly cut in half at FanDuel, going from +220 to +116. At PointsBet, the odds have shifted from +220 to +120.

Another win by the Raptors on Sunday night, and it’s possible oddsmakers will flip their positions on the two teams.