May 29, 2019
Game 1 Props - Best Bets
Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals tips off Thursday and bettors will have plenty of opportunities to cash tickets on the best-of-seven series between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors.
Along with your basic side and total wagers, all sportsbooks are offering up “Proposition Wagers” or “Props” for each game of the series.
Similar to our predictions for each round, our trio of NBA experts will be offering up their Best Prop Bets for each game.
Based on a five-unit bankroll for each game, their top plays are listed below for the opener between Toronto and Golden State.
2 Units - Over Kyle Lowry Total Assists 6.5 (+100)
Lowry averaged 8.7 assists in the regular season and that number has dropped to 6.4 assists in the postseason, which isn’t surprising since the pace isn’t as fast. His assists average has been pushed up to 6.7 in 10 home playoff games as the point guard has become more of a distributor. I expect him to take on that role again in the opener and get his teammates going. Make a note that in the two games against Golden State in the regular season, Lowry averaged 12 assists in those wins as Toronto averaged 122 points per game.
2 Units - Under Klay Thompson Total 3 Point Field Goals 3.5 (-145)
Depite not earning a spot on any of this year's all-NBA team this season, you can certainly see Thompson's worth to the Warriors in the playoffs. In four postseason losses, he averaged 16.5 points per game and only connected on eight 3-pointers in those games. In the 12 wins, he put up 19.9 PPG and hit 38 bombs from distance for an average of 3.2 per game. While Klay has the ability to hit this ‘over’ within minutes, I’m leaning to Toronto in the opener and in losses this season, Thompson is only shooting 35 percent from 3-point land. For what it’s worth, in two games versus the Raptors, he was 3-of-14 (21%) from distance.
1 Units - Under Marc Gasol Total Points 9.5 (-130)
The former Memphis Grizzlies standout will get his first taste of the NBA Finals and unfortunately for the veteran, I don’t believe he’ll be a factor in this series because the Warriors tend to go small and he would be exposed defensively. He received plenty of minutes vs. the big men of the 76ers (Embiid) and Bucks (Lopez) but against an athletic Orlando team, he was limited and only scored double figures in one of five games versus the Magic. Barring a hot shooting night, I don’t see the veteran cracking double digits on Thursday.
3 Units - Over Draymond Green Total Rebounds 9.5 (-165)
For nine consecutive games, Green has pulled down at least 10 rebounds, including a total of 27 rebounds in the final two wins of the Portland series. Green didn't grab double-digit rebounds for the first five games of the opening round against the Clippers, but has grabbed nine boards or more in 11 straight games. Green has amassed at least eight rebounds in six consecutive playoff series openers, so laying the juice here for him to compile at least 10 rebounds isn't far-fetched.
2 Units - Under Kawhi Leonard Total Points 30.5 (-115)
Leonard has carried the Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance, but the Toronto forward has scored 19 and 27 points in his last two home games. Golden State's defense has been solid in series openers this postseason by allowing 104 points or less in each victory as the Warriors will try to limit Leonard's production. Leonard's road scoring numbers in the playoffs have been higher than at home so we'll take the opportunity to back the 'under' here.
3 Units - Over Draymond Green Points, Rebounds and assists 30.5 (-110)
With Kevin Durant still out and DeMarcus Cousins likely to be worked into the mix slowly, my NBA Finals MVP pick will have a heavy workload ahead of him if he's gong to help the Warriors pick up at least a split of the action in Toronto. He's not going to look to score much, but should do enough to pick up a triple-double in Game 1, eclipsing this number rather easily. My one concern is his landing in early foul trouble, but he's done a nice job of controlling his temper and stepping up and staying on the floor since Durant went down.
2 Units - Over Marc Gasol Total Assists 3.5 (+110)
Although the Bucks often wound up double-teaming Kawhi Leonard using his defender, the Warriors aren't likely to leave him wide open in this series opener. A willing passer, look for Gasol to try and get teammates off whenever possible in this Game 1, which will lead to him picking up at least four dimes by finding teammates at the rim or for open 3-pointers.