VSiN's experts weigh in on NBA Finals

By   () 

May 29, 2019 10:04 PM

In search of their fourth championship in five years, the Golden State Warriors are capable of winning with their core four of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. The uncertain status of Kevin Durant, who will miss Game 1 and maybe more with a calf injury, makes the NBA Finals tricky to predict.

The Warriors are -300 series favorites over Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, who host the opener on Thursday. A survey of 20 opinions from VSiN analysts and Las Vegas bookmakers resulted in a 15-5 decision in favor of Golden State:

Gill Alexander, VSiN host

Warriors in 6

Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors’ length on defense stymied Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, but that’s no antidote against a Warriors team that will space the floor and frustrate Toronto. Kawhi wills the Raptors to a couple wins, but the Warriors win their fourth title in five years.


Chris Andrews, South Point sports book

Warriors in 5

Too much balance. A complete team, with or without Kevin Durant. Klay Thompson will most likely defend Kawhi for the most part, but look for a lot of help from other teammates. The Raptors should have enough to win one home game, however.


Rex Beyers, VSiN analyst, Sportradar

Warriors in 5

The Eastern Conference was better as a whole this season, but its champ will still give the Warriors less resistance than any of the LeBronled entries of past several years. Experience on this stage matters, too, and while it might not come as easy as some (myself included) anticipate, the champs are not losing four times.


Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book

Raptors in 7

Toronto had the second-best record in the league for a reason. Leonard is clearly the MVP of the playoffs so far. Without Durant, the Raptors’ stellar defense steps up and the Warriors’ run comes to an end. The NBA title goes NORTH.


Ron Flatter, VSiN host

Warriors in 5

Without Durant, The North wins just Game 2. Yes, Draymond Green can match up with Kawhi. After that the Dubs are simply too, too talented. The whole league is already keenly aware. The only mystery is whether they close down Oracle with confetti on either side of Game 5 up there. It says here, no.


Paul Howard, VSiN host

Warriors in 6

If they get a split in Toronto, we may not see Durant play for them again. A 31-1 record without him now when Stephen Curry plays is absurd and this “people doubt us” mentality is working for them. Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell will not play like they did versus the Bucks.


Brady Kannon, VSiN host

Warriors in 6

I understand this is the favorite in terms of picking the exact scenario, but it is also how I see it unfolding. Golden State has been off for an extended period of time while Toronto is really fired up about its first ever trip to the Finals. ScotiaBank Arena ought to be a madhouse for Game 1 and the Raptors come in with a great deal of confidence, having won four straight against Milwaukee. After five games, I expect the Warriors to be up 3-2 and will close it out at home in their final game ever in Oakland.


Vinny Magliulo, VSiN host, Gaughan Gaming

Warriors in 6

I give credit to the Raptors for their perseverance; they have played terrific defense and found ways to isolate/neutralize their opponents’ best player. The Warriors are an entirely different situation; they have multiple ‘best players.’ I’m of the opinion that Durant will play in this series, which is yet another weapon for Golden State.


Steve Makinen, Point Spread Weekly editor

Raptors in 7

With Durant out, my power ratings say these teams are even. Home-court advantage then could be the difference. I really don’t like the way the Durant in/out thing is going to hang over Golden State from game to game, either. If you look at the team reports, the Raptors and Warriors are nearly identical performance-wise, and that is with the latter at full strength for most of the season. In the conference finals, Toronto really bought into the defensive philosophy of keeping Giannis out of the lane while also closing out hard on 3-point shooters. The Raptors need to do only one of those things in this series. Leonard has been so good in these playoffs so far and is capable of leading Toronto to the upset.


Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sports book

Warriors in 7

Even though the Raptors won both meetings in the regular season, including a 20-point win in Oakland, the Warriors will win a thriller in Game 7, crushing the dreams for Drake and Canada.


Mitch Moss, VSiN host

Warriors in 6

The Raptors can make this competitive because Kawhi is so good, but Golden State has too much firepower.


Brent Musburger, VSiN host

Warriors in 6

I would make it five with Durant back, but that remains questionable. 


Mike Palm, VSiN host, Circa and The D

Warriors in 6

We’ve seen all season that the Warriors’ biggest challenge has been focus. The absence of KD provides that focus. Look for Klay to have a monster series.


Wes Reynolds, VSiN analyst

Warriors in 6

The Warriors, playing without Durant, have gotten back to their roots of “pace and space” basketball. The numbers indicate that they’re less effective but your eyes tell you different. Toronto will compete, but Leonard won’t have enough help in this step up in class.


Erin Rynning, VSiN analyst

Raptors in 7

Home-court advantage should loom large for the Raptors as their basketball IQ, defense and newfound confidence will be just enough to take down the champions. The Milwaukee series for the Raptors proves key, while taking away the open court and guarding the 3-point shot.


Amal Shah, VSiN host

Warriors in 5

Despite Durant’s lack of availability, the Warriors’ talent, experience and skill will help them roll over the Raptors.


Jeff Sherman, Westgate SuperBook

Warriors in 6

The Raptors will challenge the Warriors the entire series. Look for Toronto’s defense to frustrate Curry, making Thompson and Green exert themselves more than they have in the playoffs. I don’t expect Durant to return, but also don’t expect the series to reach Game 7 in Toronto, as the Raptors make the Warriors earn their wins.


Dave Tuley, VSiN senior reporter

Raptors in 6

The Raptors actually had the better regular-season record and swept both games. The first meeting was a 131-128 OT win at home that featured Durant scoring 51 for the Warriors. Granted, Curry didn’t play in that game, but he did play in the next meeting when the Raptors went into Oakland and romped 113-93 -- and get this -- WITHOUT Leonard! If not for the Warriors’ reputation/legend, the Raptors should be favored.


Jonathan Von Tobel, VSiN host

Raptors in 7

It’s time for the general public to start believing in this team’s defensive prowess. The Raptors can switch at almost every position and have two players who have won Defensive Player of Year at one point in their career. This is not the same defense as in years past for Golden State, either, as the Warriors rank 11th this postseason in defensive efficiency. NBA fans will finally get a new champion.


Matt Youmans, VSiN senior editor

Warriors in 7

This will be a more competitive series than most expect because Leonard is the best player on the floor and the Raptors match up well with their defensive versatility and size. Durant might return in Oakland to help rescue the Warriors, who get a slight edge due to their Finals experience and superior shooting.


Warriors - 15

Raptors - 5

back to news

FREE Email Sign-Up

Get the latest sports betting news & VSiN programming updates with this free daily email from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network.


View All
  • Lauri_Markanen

    Tuley's Takes Today: Tuesday recaps, Contest Corner, Wednesday play (12/1)

    As we were getting ready for the Tuesday night sports betting action to begin with the NBA, NHL and college basketball, all I could think of is that I...
  • baylor

    Early CFB Conference Championship Sharp Report

    Today bettors have a loaded Wednesday slate to choose from including 9 NBA games, 6 NHL games and 70 College Basketball games. For an updated breakdown...
  • reynolds

    Hero World Challenge best bets

    While the official PGA Tour season is on pause until January, an elite field of 20 players gathers this week for the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas....
  • finocchiaro

    Best bets for Font-Aldo UFC card

    After a week off for Thanksgiving, the UFC heads into its last three productions of 2021 starting with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night from the Apex...
  • USATSI_17242641

    Peterson: Best bet for Nebraska vs. NC State

    The Big Ten/ACC Challenge will be decided on Wednesday and NC State will look to both help its profile, and also that of the ACC, as the Wolfpack...
  • vontobelnfl

    NFL Week 12 lessons learned

    It was an emotional week for me in the NFL, as the Indianapolis Colts’ failed cover cost me a share of the first-place prize in the Westgate SuperContest...
  • vontobelnba

    Three NBA trends to watch

    It was a somewhat quiet week in the NBA with the league taking a night off for Thanksgiving, but there is still plenty to discuss. This week we touch...
  • macneil

    Hockey bettors must beat closing line

    In the end, wins and losses are really all that matters, because every sports bettor’s goal is to make money. However, wins and losses don’t...
  • appelbaum

    Five NFL games wise guys like

    NFL underdogs continued to grind out a profit in Week 12, going 8-7 ATS. Dogs are now 101-77 ATS (57 percent) on the season. A $100 bettor taking every...
  • hill

    NFL capsules for Week 13

    Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints The Dallas Cowboys (7-4 SU, 8-3 ATS) visit the New Orleans Saints (5-6 SU and ATS) on Thursday night as both...
  • moore

    Let's re-examine Gonzaga wagers

    Those predictions we heard about this college basketball season being filled with upsets and uncertainty? Well, they seem to be pretty accurate just a...
  • makinennfl

    Simulating rest of NFL season

    (To view the charts associated with this report, subscribe to Point Spread Weekly) All NFL teams have either five or six games left in their 2021-22...

VSiN Logo Plus

Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!


  • Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
  • Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
  • 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
  • Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
  • All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on VSiN.com
Sign Up Now
Google Play
App Store