NBA Finals Game 5 Preview

It's been one of the really great sports stories in years, even if it's happened outside the continental U.S.A.:

A Toronto Raptors' franchise - one that's in its 24th year of existence, no less - is sitting here just one win away from its first-ever NBA championship.

Better yet, the Raptors have overcome being down in all of their Eastern Conference playoff series - that's versus Orlando (down 0-1), Philadelphia (down 2-1) and Milwaukee (down 0-2) - and they lost a Game 2 at home here in these NBA Finals to two-time defending champion Golden State and yet nothing's kept 'em down.

Toronto is a solid 13-9 ATS (against the spread) overall this post-season and that includes six-of-seven covers since May 18th and now here's the Raptors laying three points in this evening's Game 5 in Canada and you wonder if Toronto's still being "underpriced" considering home floor alone is generally worth four points.

Is there an NBA championship on tap tonight for the Raptors? No doubt momentum is on their side, eh?

How about the matter of covering this 2-point price tag?

 

THE NBA FINALS

Tonight, it's ...GOLDEN STATE at TORONTO - Raptors lead series 3-1 / Game 5 is at 9:07 p.m. ET, ABC

Here's a piece of advice for any / all folks that believe an appearance here by Golden State's Kevin Durant - out since May 8th with either a calf strain or an Achilles Heel injury - will be the elixir for the road team: Don't exactly count on it happening and, should Durant play, don't expect 'em to play more than 10-to-12 minutes.

The two-time NBA Finals MVP has been a major missing puzzle piece all throughout this best-of-seven series and it's clear that the Durant-less Warriors have been exhausted late in the games this playoff round. No doubt that G Stephen Curry - who poured in 47 points in the Warriors' Game 3 loss — had his tank on "E" in Friday's 105-92 home loss against Toronto and he must perk up those 2-of-9 three-point shooting stats or else ... while the Warriors need an "X factor" type to step forward and produce some points, whether that's Shaun Livingston (6 points but a -14 in Game 4) and /or G Quinn Cook (0-for-5 shooting and a -6 in six minutes of action in Game 4).

On the flip side, Toronto knows it can count on Kawhi Leonard (36 points / 12 rebounds in Game 4) for his usual 30-point stat line but what's gonna determine whether or not the Raptors cover this smallish pointspread depends on PG Kyle Lowry (only two turnovers in 37 minutes in Game 4) and three-point shooter Danny Green who shot just 1-of-7 beyond the arc in Game 4. Hey, Toronto managed to overcome Green's shabby shooting there but in this home tilt he must deliver the goods plus Nick Nurse's squad needs - we say - bare minimum of 25 points from this splendid bench starring Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet (minus one tooth) and Norman Powell.

The champs are on the ropes ... are they worth grabbing at plus the price? Check with me at 1-800-755-2255 and get the answer.

Here's the 2019 NBA Finals game-by-game results between the Raptors and the Warriors. Note home teams are in CAPS below:

DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-30TORONTO- 1.5Golden St118-109
6-2Golden St+ 2TORONTO109-104
6- 5Toronto+ 2.5GOLDEN ST123-109
6-7Toronto+ 5GOLDEN ST105-92

 

THE BASEBALL REPORT

It's been pure pandemonium in the great cosmopolitan city of Toronto the past few weeks what with the home-town Raptors banging out a bunch of "W's" that have led 'em to the precipice of a first-ever NBA title but - let's be straight - the other active pro team in Toronto has been burning loads of cash this 2019 season.

The MLB's Toronto Blue Jays exited their Interleague weekend series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the short end of 8-2, 6-0 and 8-2 final scores - thus dropping the Jays to 23-42 (.354) overall on the year and that means there are only two American League teams with worse won / loss marks - see the AL East-worst Baltimore Orioles (20-45, .308) and the Kansas City Royals (20-45, .308).

But let's examine the Blue Jays who were - 130 betting favorites last Friday night versus the D-Backs, then + 125 and + 135 underdogs against Arizona in that floperoo weekend set.
The North-of-the-Border baseball crew is a minus $1,373 this year - only the aforementioned Kaycee Royals have lost more bucks from a wagering standpoint - and note that Toronto's 6-9 ATS as favorites this season and 16-32 ATS as underdogs … rotten stuff no matter how you slice it.

Still, we don't believe the Blue Jays deserve some of the "respect" they're getting as Toronto's an ugly 2-6 in its last eight games started by ace RHP Marcus Stroman (and note both of the games they won behind Stroman they exploded for 10 runs in each tilt) and wagering on this Jays bunch has been truly hazardous to one's health … so maybe not that many folks have noticed what with all the Raptors' excitement stealing the city's attention.

Did anyone say what's happened to the Maple Leafs? Ugh! Oh, Canada, be careful betting the country's lone MLB team.