Warriors’ Stephen Curry smiles as he sits beside the court at practice on June 12 (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)
Warriors’ Stephen Curry smiles as he sits beside the court at practice on June 12 (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)|Associated Press

NBA Thursday - Frank on NBA Finals Game 6, Raptors v Warriors, Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr, Kawhi Leonard, Nick Nurse

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Raptors (+2.5) @ Warriors (211)
Pick: Raptors +2.5

The consensus opening number on this one had Golden State as four-point chalk and was as high as 4.5 at some books immediately after the Warriors forced a sixth game on Monday night. I got in earlier this week at Toronto +3 and there’s still value on the Raptors catching two and a hook. Toronto has won 16 out of the 20 quarters in this series. In the regular season and playoffs, the Raptors are 3-0 at Oracle Arena. We now know with 100% certainty Kevin Durant will not play for the rest of this series.

Golden State has long prided itself on outside shooting under Steve Kerr during its run of five consecutive Western Conference championships. Here’s how they’ve shot from beyond the arc in this series:
Game 1: 12/31 – 39%
Game 2: 13/34 – 38%
Game 3: 12/36 – 33%
Game 4: 8/27 – 30%
Game 5: 20/42 – 48%
It’s safe to assume regression to the mean tonight for the Warriors from the three-point line.

Lastly, despite the loss, in Game 5 the Raptors had five scorers not named Kawhi Leonard in double figures. Everyone has been chipping in for Toronto going back to when it trailed Milwaukee 0-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. So what exactly is the reasoning to back Golden State tonight? Emotional factors like this being the last game ever at Oracle Arena can sometimes be difference makers in handicaps, but the Warriors have been the inferior team for the majority of the NBA Finals and are favored here. If Nick Nurse doesn’t call a timeout up six points with three minutes left in Game 5, the Raptors are probably already NBA Champions. Take the points just in case, but Toronto wins its first title in the Bay Area on Thursday.

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