Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry
- Tonight's Golden State Warriors-Toronto Raptors game (8 p.m. ET, TNT) could be a preview of the 2019 NBA Finals.
- According to betting odds, Warriors-Raptors (6-1) has surpassed Warriors-Celtics (7-1) as the most likely 2019 NBA Finals matchup.
Following Golden State’s win over the Orlando Magic on Monday, guard Klay Thompson was asked about the Toronto Raptors.
In his response, Thompson stated that he could see Thursday’s Warriors-Raptors game being a preview of the NBA Finals:
Thompson seems to be on the same wavelength as oddsmakers as to projecting the Warriors’ eventual championship opponent. The most likely teams to meet in NBA Finals are, in fact, the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. With Kawhi Leonard’s regained form and an 18-4 record, Toronto has bypassed the Boston Celtics as the favorite in the Eastern Conference.
The possibility we see a Warriors-Raptors finals is currently listed at 6-1, with Warriors-Celtics coming in at a close second (7-1).
Here’s a look at the most likely 2019 NBA Finals matchups:
- Warriors-Raptors (6-1)
- Warriors-Celtics (7-1)
- Warriors-76ers (17-2)
- Warriors-Bucks (16-1)
- Rockets-Raptors (21-1)
- Rockets-Celtics (23-1)
- Rockets-76ers (28-1)
- Lakers-Raptors (47-1)
- Rockets-Bucks (49-1)
- Lakers-Celtics (53-1)
- Lakers-76ers (63-1)
- Lakers-Bucks (110-1)
The Golden State Warriors are odds-on favorites to win the NBA Championship. That’s been the case since odds opened. Whether you are contrarian or just feeling frisky, here are two other potential matchups worth considering:
Current Odds: 7-1
Implied Probability: 12.5%
If you don’t think anyone can dethrone the Warriors in the West, but are open to a team other than the Raptors in the East, then Warriors-Celtics has a lot of value at 7-1.
While the Celtics have stumbled out of the gate, they have far too much talent and are too well-coached not to be there when the dust settles. And let’s not forget that Danny Ainge is loaded with a surplus of assets to move for a star come the trade deadline. Whether it is giving up Terry Rozier, or the stockpile of draft picks Ainge has accumulated, look for the Celtics to make a move to right the ship soon.
Current Odds: 23-1
Implied Probability: 4.16%
Speaking of feeling frisky, the Rockets are another team that has a ton of value right now due to its poor start. The Rockets, like the Celtics, have been the other most disappointing team in the league this season.
That being said, you know Daryl Morey is going to do whatever he can to improve his team, as evidenced by the Jimmy Butler trade offer the Rockets had on the table.
While Houston failed to get Butler, Morey showed that he is willing to go all-in to add the necessary firepower to the team’s lineup. Yes, this is not the same Rockets team that pushed the Warriors to the limit last year, but it still has The Beard, Cliff Paul’s brother and the human Swiss Army Knife, Clint Capela. Either way, don’t count them out just yet, especially if they can add another wing to the roster.
Tonight’s game between the Warriors and Raptors should be lit, which might, in turn, motivate you to get your futures bets in before it is too late!