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While the Toronto Raptors are most certainly underdogs in their NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, for at least one game, they’re the favourites.
The Raptors are a consensus 1.5-point favourite for Game 1 of the Finals according to Covers.com, a website that aggregates multiple sports books.
That may be a surprise to some people, given the Warriors have won back-to-back championships and are playing in their fifth straight NBA Finals.
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But there are some things working in the Raptors’ favour.
While DeMarcus Cousins will be available for the Warriors in Game 1, Kevin Durant is still out with a calf injury. The Warriors could also be rusty given they haven’t played a game in 10 days since sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.
Then there’s also the fact that the Raptors are a pretty darn good team in their own right. Toronto finished second overall in the NBA, winning 58 times – more than the Warriors, who won 57 games. The Raptors also won both meetings against Golden State this season, including one game played without Kawhi Leonard.
Home court is massive in the NBA, and the Raptors are no exception to that rule. Toronto was 32-9 during the regular season at Scotiabank Arena and are 8-2 at home during the playoffs. The Warriors are 6-2 on the road during the postseason.
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