Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors tips off on Friday and it should be a thriller.
The Golden State Warriors are the heavy favourites to win the NBA Finals Series but the Toronto Raptors could come out firing in Game 1 and make a statement in front of their home crowd.
We have expert betting tips for Game 1 where the Raptors have attracted plenty of attention with punters.
2019 NBA Finals Game 1 Preview
There has been concern this season that the Warriors are getting a bit “tired” of each other, in the wake of trade rumours, but Steph Curry isn’t buying into that.
Curry, who is the current Finals MVP favourite, is welcoming playing a new team in the NBA Finals and not one that features LeBron James.
“Different energy, different city, different views, everything should prepare us to lock in, understanding that we have a prime opportunity to start off this finals series on the road and get a win and set the tone for how it’s going to be,” Curry said.
“I like the challenge and the unfamiliarity of this kind of schedule and flow. We’ve been there before, and we’ve experienced a lot, and this is, I think, something we’re capable of doing.”
We think the Warriors are capable of winning the series, but we’re not so sure they’re going to win Game 1 on Friday.
Getting off to a winning start and going up 1-0 is extremely important for the Raptors – more important than the Warriors going down 0-1.
This is essentially a do-or-die game for the home side but coach Nick Nurse knows his team can come from behind.
“Well, it would be nice not to face a series deficit, that’s for sure,” Nurse said. “But again, I think you’ve just kind of got to take it as it comes. “
We’re confident the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam can power the Raptors to a home victory. Leonard will need to take the brunt of the load for the Raptors, but he has shown plenty of reasons to back him in.
Leonard to lead the Raptors
Kawhi Leonard has NBA Championship-winning experience with the San Antonio Spurs and it’s showing this season.
He might be a soft-spoken man off the court, but he leads with his ability and that’s his best attribute. He’s not interested in the drama of the NBA – he gets the job done and gives 100% every game.
With 26.6 points per game during the playoffs, Leonard has put this relatively inexperienced team on his back and he will need to continue rising to the occasion if the Raptors are to win.
The Raptors are also helped with an injury-free roster. They have no major injuries to report and on the other hand, the Warriors have both Kevin Durant and Andre Igoudala.
Look for Leonard to come out strong and put the Warriors big men into early foul trouble. He has the ability to rise over any defender and that’s a good asset to have.
2019 NBA Finals Game 1 Prediction
It’s not easy to bet against the Golden State Warriors but if the Raptors are ever going to win an NBA Finals game, it will be this one.
They’re going to have a raucous crowd behind them, Drake on the sidelines and they have the players to get the job done.
Not only are we predicting a big game from Kawhi Leonard, but we’re predicting Kyle Lowry to go off on Friday. He’s a player that can swing the result depending on how he plays and he’s getting his confidence back.
A steady flow of money has come for the Raptors throughout the week and they’re now into $1.81 with bookmakers.
We wouldn’t want that price to shorten any further but we’re expecting it to. Punters can lock in the value by betting on the Raptors to win.
Tip: Raptors ($1.81) at Sportsbet.com.au – Bet Now
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.