The 2019 NBA Finals got underway with a bang on Friday as the Toronto Raptors landed the first blow by winning Game 1 in dominant fashion over the Golden State Warriors. The series remains in Toronto for Game 2 this Monday (AEST).
We hit on two out of three tips in Game 1 including picking the Raptors to win and we’ll be looking to continue that form as we take a look at Game 2, tipping off at 11am on Monday.
The Raptors were fantastic in Game 1 but the productivity came largely from an unsuspected source in star youngster Pascal Siakam. The 25 year old had 32 points on 14/17 shooting to lead the Raptors to a nine point win at home.
The Raptors defence was in full flight as they held the Warriors to just 43% shooting from the field and forced all-star point guard Steph Curry off the three point line at every opportunity. Big men, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, were infinitely better at defending the high pick and roll with Curry as the ball handler than the Portland bigs were in the Western Conference Finals.
The fact that the Warriors lost this game while Raptors star forward Kawhi Leonard had little impact on offence is a daunting prospect. Leonard was just 5/14 from the field for 23 points.
The Raptors were incredible at getting Siakam a mismatch in Game 1, regularly using the pick and roll to get him the ball down in the post against the likes of the shorter Klay Thompson or Steph Curry. They should continue to abuse that in Game 2 meaning Siakam’s line of just 18.5 looks low.
Finding a way to score against this impressive Toronto defence is the Warriors main concern at the moment. All reports suggest that superstar forward Kevin Durant will remain out of the line-up for Game 2, which increases the load on the shoulders of Curry and backcourt teammate Klay Thompson.
Defending the combo of Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam will also be a massive issue in Game 2 after the apparent injury of utility player Andre Igoudala in the opening game of the series. Igoudala injured his calf and is currently listed as a game time decision for Monday.
Without Igoudala and Durant, the Warriors are seriously lacking wing players to defend Leonard, Siakam and even bench player Norman Powell who has proved invaluable in this post-season. So much falls onto the shoulders of Klay Thompson defensively, we tipped him to go under in Game 1 and we like that bet again considering how much he has on his plate at the defensive end.
Our series prediction was the Warriors to win in six games but we have to revise that after seeing Game 1. The story might change once Kevin Durant comes back into the line-up and gives Golden State some more reliable offence but at the moment it’s hard to pick them against the rampant Toronto defence.
There’s still some great value on offer for Toronto in Game 2 and we are happy to take it against the depleted Golden State side.
Luke Krahe is back with his best bets for racing at Pakenham, Albury and Bathurst this Monday, June 17th. Check out his five selections here! read more
Sha Tin hosts a huge 11-race card on Sunday, June 16th, and we've picked out our four best bets on the card here! read more
AFL Round 13 will come to an end on Sunday when North Melbourne host Greater Western Sydney at Blundstone Arena. We preview the match and provide our best bet here! read more
There are approximately 90 Group 1 level harness races in Australia and New Zealand each year; we've highlighted some of most high profile races on the annual racing calendar here. read more
Harness racing form can be daunting to punters that are new to the sport and form analysis for the trots is certainly different to that of the gallops or greyhounds. We've listed what we think the most important factors to consider are when studying the form for a trots race. read more
Barrier draws are crucial in racing and they are especially important in harness racing. We've explained why barriers are such a key part of harness racing form study and their importance to determining a horse's chances here. read more
There are many common terms used in harness racing that may not make sense to those new to the sport. Our harness racing glossary will help you understand what some of the key terminology means. read more
Only the six games in the AFL again this weekend due to the byes but still plenty of value on offer! We have a complete odds list of all six games courtesy of Sportsbet here read more
The first bye round of the 2019 AFL season is in the books and we are back to review all six games of Round 12 and take you through who we think deserved to poll the all important Brownlow votes here. read more
It's the first of the bye rounds as Round 12 of the 2019 AFL season kicks off with Richmond and Geelong on Friday night in arguably the match of the round. Here's the full Round 12 odds and betting lines thanks to Bet365. read more
It's getting tight at the top in our rolling 2019 Brownlow Medal Leaderboard with a couple of new faces emerging as contenders. Check out our Round 11 Brownlow votes predictions here! read more