The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors are in the 2019 NBA Finals.
One of the popular prop bets is how long the series will go. I’m going to predict how long the series will last, but before I get into my preview, let’s take a look at the odds.
Series Lasts 4 Games (+375 Odds)
Series Lasts 5 Games (+200 Odds)
Series Lasts 6 Games (+135 Odds)
Series Lasts 7 Games (+185 Odds)
With this bet, you don’t predict the winner, just how many games the series will last.
This is a tough series to predict, as it could go a number of ways. Will the Warriors utilize their edge in experience to put the Raptors away quickly or can the Raptors hold serve at home?
The Warriors have turned it up in the NBA Finals in recent years. In 2017, they defeated the Cavaliers in five games and last year they swept Cleveland, winning three of four games by double-digits.
This year is different though, as the Warriors are banged up. Kevin Durant won’t start the series, but could be back soon. DeMarcus Cousins is questionable for the opener and Andre Iguodala will play, but he’s not 100%. The health of the Warriors will dictate what happens this series.
Since we don’t know when or if Durant will be back, we have to assume he’ll be out for the entirety of the 2019 NBA Finals. Without Durant, the Raptors could not only keep things close, but they may end up winning an NBA Championship as long as the role players produce offensively.
Playing in the finals is new territory for most of the Raptors roster. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have experience in the finals with the Spurs, but no one else on the roster has any. The Raptors will need to shake any nervousness quickly, as they have to win the opener at home.
Nothing would be worse than the Raptors losing in a blowout in game 1. The team’s confidence will take a hit and the fans will start losing faith quickly. However, no crowd has been as electric as the Raptors the last several years in the playoffs and if they win a pair at home, the fans will be wild.
With all that being said, my money is on the series going the distance. I don’t expect either team to win in five or fewer games. These two teams are actually relatively close statistically and we’re going to get a much better price on the series going seven games compared to six games.
The NBA would love to see a game seven being played in Toronto to end the season and there’s a good chance that happens. Toronto have to capitalize on Durant’s injury early in the series and if they manage to do that, I can see these two teams battling it out in close games all series long.