NBA Finals Game 3 Pick: Raptors vs. Warriors Prediction

by | Jun 4, 2019 | nba

Toronto Raptors (71-31 SU, 49-53 ATS) vs. Golden State Warriors (70-30 SU, 43-55-2 ATS)
When: Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
By: Matt Lowry, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: TOR +6 / GS -6 (Bovada Sportsbook)
Total: O/U 212.5
Last Time Out: Warriors won game two 109-104. The series is tied at 1-1.

The Finals So Far

I want to start this preview by giving a shout out to Predictem’s own Keith Franks for correctly predicting game two. He even predicted the Warriors would win outright, so I hope everyone took advantage of that and cashed in.

Now on to game three. To no one’s surprise, the Warriors played much better in game two and did exactly what they needed to do, to secure home court for the time being. As the series moves to Oracle, there are a few things to consider but I want to start with the advantages of rest.

With game two having been this past Sunday, it means each team with get two full days of rest to travel an adjust for a pivotal game three. This season the Raptors are 14-6 straight up but just 8-12 against the spread when they are given two days to recuperate. Meanwhile the Warriors are 17-7 straight up and 13-11 against the spread in the same scenario. That said, I would give the Warriors have a slight edge in this game three. However, I have lean towards the Raptors to keep this game close.

Oh Canada

The Raptors were looking good in game two. At least for the most part they held their own in the first half an even had a halftime lead. I do not know what happened after halftime, but as we all saw the Raptors could not score to save their life. It was like in the movie “Space Jam” when the Monstars stole the talent of the NBA players and they suddenly could not make a shot. This was the Raptors for the first 5:30 of the third quarter. Now the main question to ask yourself is, “What will the Raptors need to do to make sure this does not happen again?”

Well to start they need to do a better job on the defensive end. This seems like an obvious one, but it crucial that Kawhi and company lock down guys like Curry, Klay, Draymond, etc. The Raptors allowed the Warriors to shoot 46.3% from the field, which is up from 43.6% in a game one Toronto win. Looking at some other defensive stats, we see that Toronto has done a better job at rebounding and creating turnovers in both games. This will be another huge factor with them being on the road.

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On the offensive end, the Raptors must get a better performance from someone other than Kawhi Leonard if they are going to win in Oracle. I am mainly talking about Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. Siakam had just 12 points in game two while Lowry had 13 points. Lowry also fouled out so near the end of the game he was no help. This was a big part of the reason why they lost. As good as Kawhi is, he cannot and will not be able to carry this team by himself. Especially against the Warriors on the road. Leonard will likely reach the 30-point mark again because he is that good but look for Siakam and Lowry to have a much better performance. Specifically, Kyle Lowry is no stranger to having success at Oracle. During the regular season matchup at Golden State, he scored a team high 23 points on 9 of 18 shooting. Yes, it is a totally different situation this time around, but I am confident Lowry can have a much more impactful game than he has so far through two games of the finals.

Off to Oracle

The Warriors took game two after a massive run to start the third quarter. I am talking an 18-0 run that gave them the lead and really took the air out of the arena. The biggest question continues to be, “What is the status of Kevin Durant?” He is still listed as questionable, but nothing has yet been confirmed for this next game. The other worry is the status of Klay Thompson. Thompson injured his left hamstring and was forced to leave game two. He is now listed as probable. Even though Thompson is likely to play, I want to look at how the Warriors can win regardless.

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The first thing to look at is the play of Draymond Green. Green has been amazing through the first two games and is nearly averaging a triple double. Currently he is averaging 13.5 points, 9.5 assists and 10 rebounds per game. Green will play a huge part in this game if the Warriors are going to take a 2-1 series lead. I even believe his performance will be the difference maker because of how he can distribute, score, defend, etc. Now say Thompson is unable to go at all or is not at 100%, Green will be the next guy to step up to help the Warriors win.

Of course, there is also Stephen Curry. Curry did not shoot great in game two, but still managed to be the second leading scorer for his team. He also has outplayed the Toronto point guard by a wide margin and I think this will continue, giving the Warriors an important edge in the point guard category.

Lastly, there is the Warriors bench, who provided some decent scoring when it mattered. Overall, the bench scored 25 points or 22.9% of the Warriors total. Quinn Cook led the way with 9 points and I believe he needs to have another productive game. Even if he comes in for a few minutes at a time and scores a couple baskets, it will still take the pressure off guys like Klay Thompson, who as we know may not be 100%. If the Warriors can balance their scoring and get some decent bench production, they will win this game without any trouble.

Best Bet

The Warriors gained a ton of momentum by stealing a road win. I think they will continue to build on their game two victory and will win in game three as well. However, I like the Raptors to keep this game extremely close and win on the point spread. This is still the NBA Finals and I do not see the Raptors going away anytime soon.

Free NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +6

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