The Golden State Warriors (15-7) will begin a five-game road trip in Toronto on Thursday against the Raptors (18-4) as underdogs at sportsbooks in a potential NBA Finals preview.
The two-time defending NBA champion Warriors have played the Cleveland Cavaliers for the championship the previous four years, while the Raptors own the league's best record after adding Kawhi Leonard via trade in the offseason.
NBA point spread: The Raptors opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total is at 223.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 119.4-102.4, Raptors (NBA picks on every game)
Why the Warriors can cover the spread
Golden State should be upbeat following three straight wins and knowing that Stephen Curry and Draymond Green will be back in the lineup soon.
In the meantime, Kevin Durant has done his best to carry the load, averaging nearly 42 points during his team's winning streak, including 49 in a 116-110 victory against the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Curry (groin) is set to return on Saturday while Green (toe) will miss a few more games, but the Warriors have won 11 of their last 12 versus Eastern Conference opponents.
Why the Raptors can cover the spread
Sure, Golden State has dominated the East in the win column lately, but the team has failed to beat the number in three of the last four.
Toronto is not your typical Eastern Conference team, either, especially without LeBron James to worry about anymore.
The Raptors have similarly won eight of nine against Western Conference foes, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, but they have also gone 3-1-1 against the spread in the past five. In addition, they are riding a six-game winning streak overall, going 4-2 ATS.
Smart betting pick
Toronto has lost eight straight in this series dating back to 2015 but has gone 4-1-1 in the past six meetings, keeping half of them fairly close.
For the Warriors, the first and last games of their road trip are the toughest, starting here at Scotiabank Arena and ending at Fiserv Forum against the Milwaukee Bucks a week from Friday. They might have both Curry and Green back for the latter, so this is their most likely loss.
The Raptors have been waiting a while to end this series skid, and now is the perfect time.
NBA betting trends
Golden State is 1-8 ATS in its last nine games.
Golden State is 1-5 ATS in its last six games on the road.
Toronto is 4-2 ATS in its last six games.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.