The 2019 NBA Finals continue Friday evening with Game 4 between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The Raptors surprisingly hold a 2-1 series lead going into this pivotal showdown after re-gaining home-court advantage with a road victory in Game 3. The Warriors were clearly feeling the effects of all the mounting injuries that have plagued the organization during this 2019 NBA Playoffs run. The back-to-back defending champions simply could not generate enough offense with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson—two of their three leading scorers—inactive on Wednesday. Durant, who has been sidelined since the Western Conference semifinals with a calf strain, has already been confirmed out again for Game 4, but Thompson is ready to return after missing one contest with a hamstring injury. The marksman’s presence will buoy a lineup that was overly dependent on Steph Curry to generate buckets and made what is usually an unpredictable Golden State offense rather one dimensional in its last outing.
Oddsmakers believe the Warriors will be able to turn things around tonight, opening the home team as a 4.5-point favorite for Game 4. That line has remained steady even though 60% of all tickets and 65% of money wagered against the spread are backing the Raptors. Toronto was responsible for more overall bets and cash risked by the public in Game 3—which paid out after the squad’s 123-109 victory—so it’s not too much of a shock to see people once again backing the club as an underdog in its first ever NBA Finals appearance. Still, Golden State has been in this situation before with the Larry O’Brien Trophy on the line, ripping off three straight wins in 2015 to come back from a 2-1 series and claim the organization’s first championship in 40 years. That team was able to accomplish that feat with a core of Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, the same three battle-tested stars that will tasked with tying things up for the Dubs tonight.
It won’t be easy, however, as the Raptors must be feeling confident after going up a game in the 2019 NBA Finals by stealing one in the notoriously difficult Oracle Arena. Sportsbooks are now favoring Toronto for the first time to win a title, shifting the team’s series odds from +240 prior to Game 3 all the way to -125 ahead of Game 4. Kawhi Leonard, who has been a revelation during his first season with the Raptors, has also closed the gap with Curry as the likely Finals MVP. Leonard is currently -125 to claim the award—it would be his second after earning the hardware as a member of the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014—while Curry is now slightly behind at +105 odds to win his first Finals MVP in his fifth trip.
Will the Warriors claw out of the hole they find themselves in, or will the Raptors put their opponent on the ropes with a chance to close out the series when it returns to Toronto on Monday? Those looking for advice on how to bet this exciting matchup can find a pick from pro handicapper Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com at the end of this article. Before seeing which side the Vegas expert has a lean on for Game 4, have a look at the complete viewing guide for the contest, as well as an updated 2019 NBA Playoffs bracket, the remaining schedule for the 2019 NBA Finals, plus quotes, tweets and more related to this crucial Warriors vs. Raptors bout.
NBA Finals 2019 Game 4 Viewing Guide