9:07 PM EST
Raptors 1Q ML -120 (1u)
Raptors 1H ML -125 (2u)
Raptors ML -115 (3u)
Danny Green O8.5 Points +105 (1u)
Both of these teams have been off for awhile but when both teams have long layoffs it favors the home team. In the first three rounds, the Warriors faced teams ranked 19th, 18th and 16th in defensive efficiency. It’s a completely different story against the Raptors who have two former Defensive Players of the Year on their roster and the fifth rated defense which would have been even higher if Leonard rested less during the regular season. The Raptors match up very well defensively against the Warriors — they have veterans with length who play in your face physical defense on the perimeter which is the Warriors kryptonite. The Clippers are the poor man’s version of the Raptors defensively and we saw how they disrupted the Warriors offense and shockingly forced that series to six games. In the finals the refs allow much more physical contact which plays right into the Raptors wheel house and is what historically disrupts Curry and Thompson on the perimeter. The Warriors have been fine without Durant so far these playoffs but his uncanny ability to score off of isolation will finally be missed in this series. The Warriors have been prone to slow starts (down 15 at half in three games in the Blazers series) and with the rust of being off for 10 days I see the Raptor’s getting off to a great start in this one jumping out to an early lead and going into the locker room up at half. The difference between Portland and Toronto is the Raptors play too good of defense to allow the Warriors a massive comeback if they are up double digits. The Warriors are receiving the credit for having the edge in finals experience but the Raptors have Western Conference veterans in Serge Ibaka, Danny Green, Marc Gasol and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard who all have plenty of experience themselves. The Raptors only hope to have a chance in this series is to win Game 1 and I think they will do just that and my numbers agree as I have them Power Rated as a 6 point favorite in this game. Look for Danny Green to finally come alive after a terrible series against the Bucks and for the Raptors to jump out to an early lead and not look back. Take the Raptors.