With or without Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors are the favorites in the NBA Finals for a fifth consecutive year.
Caesars Sportsbook installed the two-time defending champion Warriors as -320 favorites to beat the Toronto Raptors in the Finals. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday in Toronto. Golden State opened as a 1-point road favorite in Game 1.
The Warriors are entering their fifth consecutive Finals. They were favored in the last four Finals series and won three of the last four titles, all coming against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Durant missed all four games of the Warriors’ sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals with a calf injury. He is unlikely to play in Game 1, Golden State said Thursday. Regardless, the Warriors are heavy favorites.
Late Saturday night, the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas opened Golden State as a -275 favorite in the Finals. SuperBook executive director John Murray told ESPN that the price reflected the possibility of Durant playing in the series. The Warriors have won 31 of their last 32 games when Curry plays and Durant does not. They are 34-4 in those games overall.
The SuperBook raised the price on Golden State to -310 minutes after posting.
“[We] took a bet at -275 right away,” Murray said in a text message.
Toronto opened as a +260 underdog in the series at Caesars Sportsbook. In the last eight Finals, only last year’s Cavaliers were larger underdogs to start than the Raptors.
Toronto erased an 0-2 deficit to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals and advanced to the franchise’s first NBA Finals with a comeback win in Saturday night’s Game 6.
The Raptors won both meetings with the Warriors this season: 113-93 in Oakland on Dec. 12, and 132-128 in Toronto on Nov. 29.