After Five Straight Wins and Point Spread Covers, Bettor Show Love for Toronto Raptors
It’s been pretty remarkable to witness the evolution in betting opinion towards the Toronto Raptors. Heading into the Eastern Conference Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were as high as a -300 series favorite. Oddsmakers appeared right in pricing the Bucks 3-1 as they won and covered Games 1 and 2. The Raptors managed to fire back with a double OT victory in Game 3; a result that in retrospect obviously changed the tide of the series. Lose that game and Milwaukee likely wins the series. Instead, the Bucks led 2-1 but the betting markets still weren’t sold on Toronto. For Game 4, Milwaukee actually opened as a -1 road favorite and closed -3 but it ended up being a huge score for the sportsbooks as the Raptors knotted up the series 2-2 after a commanding 120-102 victory.
The markets were split in their opinion on Game 5; Milwaukee opened -7 home chalk and closed -7.5 but on two occasions leading up to the game, the lined dropped to -6.5. The Raptors delivered their third straight win and now had a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6. It was then that bettors really changed their tune. Milwaukee was a prohibited series favorite heading in, at one time led 2-0, and was facing postseason elimination, but despite all of that it was that the Raptors that took a flood of early money as the line shot up from -1 to -2.5 before closing -1.5. The early money proved right as Toronto won 100-94 and earned a berth in the NBA Finals.
For the Finals, CRIS opened Golden State as a -300 series favorite but closed -250; aided some by the on-going injury status of Kevin Durant. Game 1 saw conflicting opinions in the betting markets. Toronto opened -1 but within five minutes, Golden State was blasted up to -2.5. After that initial barrage of Warriors’ support however, it was primarily one-way action on the Raptors. From -1 to +2.5, Toronto ended up closing as a -2 favorite and again, delivered a win and point spread cover. And those bettors who cashed in Game 1 appear on board from Game 2 as Toronto opened +1 and is now -2 at most offshore sportsbooks. From an 0-2 series deficit to five straight wins and point spread covers — and now a modest +120 series underdog — the Toronto Raptors have no doubt won the hearts of a lot of bettors over the last two weeks!