After winning two straight games in Oakland, California, the Toronto Raptors are coming home Monday with an opportunity to win the franchise's first NBA title.
The Raptors pounded the Warriors in Game 3 when they did not have Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant, and they were able to rebound from a slow start in Game 4 to build on their lead and take something of a stranglehold on the series.
NBA Finals Game 5 Information: Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors
Series standings: Toronto leads 3-1
Date: Monday, June 10
Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
The Warriors are in a position of desperation, something that the team has not seen in any of its four consecutive championship series appearances. The Warriors won the title in 2015, '17 and '18 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and when they lost to Cleveland in 2016, they took a 3-1 lead after the first four games before they let the championship slip away.
The Raptors are three-point favorites to win Game 5 and take the series, per Covers. The game opened up at Toronto -2.5.
One of the key factors in the game and the rest of the series is the availability of Durant. The Warriors' top regular-season scorer and MVP candidate has been out since suffering a calf injury in Game 5 of the second-round series against the Houston Rockets.
The Warriors managed to win that series and sweep the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals without him. However, they have not had enough scoring against the Raptors, and they could use his services the rest of the way.
Durant has traveled with the team to Toronto, and head coach Steve Kerr told reporters he would practice with the team Sunday, ahead of Monday's game. That announcement was made shortly before 2 p.m. ET Sunday.
Kerr said Durant would have a chance to be cleared for play in the game if he emerged healthy from the practice session.
Game 5 Props and Prediction
Bovada was offering several team props as of 2 p.m. ET Sunday for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
One of the prop bets that includes a potential big payoff is whether the game goes into overtime. The "yes" option is offered at odds of +1000, while the "no" option can be taken at -2500. A "yes" bettor will wager $100 for a chance to gain a $1,000 profit, while the "no" bettor must put up $2,500 to win $100.
The risk is too high to even consider the "no" option, but the "yes" option is enticing. The closest game in this year's final round was the Warriors' 109-104 win in Game 2, and it seemed that game had a chance to go to an extra period until the Warriors extended their lead in the final minute.
The last NBA Finals game to go to overtime was Game 1 of last year's series between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs had a chance to win that game on their final possession of regulation, but JR Smith did not recognize that the clock was about to run out and failed to shoot. The Warriors won that game 124-114 and went on to sweep the Cavs.
Overtime is possible in Game 5, but it is too big a jump to take and risk the money.
The team prop worth considering is based on the final scoring margin. Bovada offers both the Warriors and Raptors winning by 1-2 points at +1100, as well as a variety of other scoring margins for both teams.
However, the thought of the Warriors fighting to stay alive with Durant and the Raptors' motivation to win the NBA title suggests both teams are worth a play with the 1-2 point margin. The risk here is a $200 play that either team will win by one or two points. So, if the Warriors are trailing by point in the final seconds and Durant takes a three-pointer at the buzzer, the bet is a winner whether the shot goes in or not.
If Durant hits it, the Warriors win by two points and the Golden State bet gets paid. If he misses it, the Toronto bet gets paid.
The risk is reasonable and the reward is great.
The scenario pictured above is reasonable, and the belief here is that the Warriors' desperation will trump Toronto's hunger for a title in this game.
The Raptors will still have two more chances to win the title even if they lose Game 5, so look for the Warriors to keep it close all the way.
If comes down to a last-second shot and Durant is in the lineup, he will hit it and the Warriors will win. Take the Warriors plus-three to win Game 5 of the series.