Raptors Win NBA Title
THE NBA FINALS
HISTORY-MAKING RAPTORS WIN FIRST-EVER TITLE (AND THEY FINISH THE YEAR ON A SPIFFY 8-2 POINTSPREAD RUN!) ...
Go figure. The NBA's one-and-only team that hails from Canada now is in possession of the "LOB" - as in Larry O'Brien Trophy - and nobody's talkin' about dynasties today.
The Golden State Warriors - who may or may not be finished in terms of runs to the NBA Finals after making five straight trips to the ultimate playoff round - were worn out, short-handed and generally beaten down by the time we got to last night's Game 6 and the club that entered this year as prohibitive - 150 betting favorites to win it all came up short.
Instead, a Toronto Raptors team that entered the year at + 1400 to win it all -- the fifth choice behind Golden State, Boston at + 500, Houston at + 850 and the Los Angeles Lakers at + 1000 - is standing on the NBA mountain top for the first time in the franchise's 24-year history and you better believe they nabbed a fair share of breaks whether you're talking the injury to Kevin Durant in Game 5 or last night's late third-quarter knee injury suffered by the Warriors' crack shooter Klay Thompson (torn ACL) who still finished with a game-high 30 points. Throw in the injury that limited underrated board banger Kevon Looney and the Warriors were hurtin' from all angles and a determined / dogged Toronto team took full advantage.
Among last night's heroes in Game 6 was reserve G Fred VanVleet who poured in 22 points (see five made trifectas) and veteran PG Kyle Lowry who scored 26 points (including 11 in the game's first three minutes) and wound up a far-and-away game-best + 16. Lowry's aggressive nature right from the start knocked Golden State back on its collective heels - all the while folks were waiting for Steve Kerr's Dubs to land the early-game blows, right? - and made it tough for the Warriors to recover.
In the end, the inability of Golden State's reserves - that's DeMarcus Cousins and G Quinn Cook - to handle the pick-and-roll was a killer plus NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard (22 points / 6 rebounds in Game 6) simply made too many clutch hoops throughout this series and he was a major star from the free-throw line.
No doubt the better team won this NBA Finals but poor Golden State rarely - if ever - got to show off its whole team at the same time.
THE NBA FINALS
Last night, it was ... TORONTO 114, GOLDEN STATE 110 - Raptors win series 4-2
Here's the 2019 NBA Finals game-by-game results between the Raptors and the Warriors. Note home teams are in CAPS below:
|5-30||TORONTO||- 1.5||Golden St||118-109|
|6-2||Golden St||+ 2||TORONTO||109-104|
|6- 5||Toronto||+ 2.5||GOLDEN ST||123-109|
|6-7||Toronto||+ 5||GOLDEN ST||105-92|
|6-13||Toronto||+ 2.5||GOLDEN ST||114-110|
Okay, so the Raptors won this best-of-seven NBA Finals in six games - and they covered four-of-six games too in this set thus capping this glorious season on our headline-noting 8-2 ATS (against the spread) run ... remember Toronto won/covered the final four games of its Eastern Conference Finals series versus the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. Also, take note that Golden State was a prohibitive betting favorite prior to the start of the NBA Finals as the Warriors were - 300 while you were able to take back + 240 with Toronto, so not a bad haul for the folks that backed the North-of-the-Border crew.
Finally, note that NBA Playoff Betting Favorites finished this post-season at 40-39-2 ATS with one Pick 'Em affair and so that means chalk sides covered at a .506 winning rate. Dig a little deeper and here's the real deal: If you wagered $100 per betting favorite in the playoffs, then you dropped $290 while if you played each/every underdog side, you lost $500 ... yet another reason (as we always tell you) that every game must be handicapped on its own merits, you can't just go favorites or just go underdog every game as the probability that you'll be right around .500 at the end will always cost you moolah.
2019 NBA PLAYOFFS POINTSPREAD CHART
Here's a final look at the all-inclusive post-season chart including all 16 NBA playoff teams (with NBA Finals teams in CAPS below):
THE BASEBALL UPDATE
Okay, so we're - give or take - about 40 percent through this 2019 MLB season and it's interesting to note that last year's World Series champion Boston Red Sox are - 1012 bucks when you do the math this year in terms of betting on 'em with their current 36-34 record while the Los Angeles Dodgers (last year's World Series losers) are a cool+ 612 smackers based on their current 46-23 record. Give the Dodgers credit for not suffering any sort of post-Fall Classic "hangover" as they did in 2018 following a seven-game World Series loss to the Houston Astros. The NL West leaders are up 800-plus dollars in home games so far this year and down close to two bills on the road.
One last thing about the Bosox: They're just 4-8 as underdog sides this year and down some 732 bucks at Fenway Park. Will we see a Boston resurgence ... or will its backers keep paying for the club's 2018 reputation? Stay tuned.