Toronto Raptors The Only Value Pick Left For NBA Title

Monday, May 13, 2019 6:36 PM UTC

Monday, May. 13, 2019 6:36 PM UTC

They almost crashed out of the second round, but the Toronto Raptors are the best NBA pick of the four remaining teams in the title hunt.
<p style="text-align:right"><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through May 13: 30-29-1 ATS, 0-6 ML (minus-12.63 units), 38-25-1 Totals</em></p><p>Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Toronto Raptors are the <a href="" target="_blank">best NBA pick on the championship futures market</a>. It seems like they’ve been that way for years now, and of course, they’ve never cashed in on that promise – the Raptors haven’t even been to the NBA Finals yet. But if you’re looking to make a sharp title pick, there’s only one choice remaining out of the four teams still in the playoffs, and Toronto is that choice.</p><p><br /><br /><span style="color:inherit;font-family:inherit;font-size:1.2em;font-weight:700">Super Computer</span></p><p>That’s what the math says, at least. Here’s how our four contestants stack up on <a href=";book=BOVADA" target="_blank">Bovada’s </a><a href="" target="_blank">NBA odds</a> board at press time:</p><p>Golden State Warriors –165<br />Milwaukee Bucks +230<br />Toronto Raptors +750<br />Portland Trail Blazers +1700<br /><br />And here are the chances of winning the title for each team, according to the projections at FiveThirtyEight:<br /><br />Golden State 62 percent<br />Milwaukee 15<br />Toronto 22<br />Portland &lt;1</p><p>Can you tell which team is not like the others by the time I finish my song? Here’s the third verse, where we run those percentages through the streetwise <a href="" target="_blank">SBR Odds Converter</a> and come up with equivalent “fair” American odds, no vigorish included:</p><p>Golden State –163<br />Milwaukee +567<br />Toronto +355<br />Portland &lt;+9900</p><p>And now our song is done. The Warriors are actually a break-even commodity at these chalky odds – by the way, their projection dipped from 64 percent right after Kevin Durant was ruled out for Tuesday’s Game 1 (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) against Portland. The Bucks and especially the Trail Blazers are bad picks, and the Raptors are an absolute bargain at +750.</p><p> </p><div><h2>They The North</h2><p>We’ve already looked at the two most immediate reasons behind Toronto’s value in our Eastern Conference Finals preview: the elevation of Kawhi Leonard’s game in these playoffs, and the late-season arrival of Marc Gasol. But there are more fundamental forces at work here. The Raptors don’t have very many fans south of the 49th Parallel, so they don’t attract much public money, even during the postseason. They’ve also got a pretty miserable playoff history, one that weighs heavily on the minds of Toronto fans – and maybe some of their holdover players.</p><div>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Toronto was +178 to win East at start of playoffs on 5dimes, +210 at start of 2nd round, and +250 now. I guess the Orlando series win was foregone conclusion and priced in but not sure how their odds keep getting worse (Anunoby factor?)&lt;/p&gt;— EC (@MiamiErikC) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;May 13, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</div><div> </div><div> </div><p>Leonard doesn’t give a hoot. Neither does Gasol. This is a very different team under head coach Nick Nurse, with a stacked starting five and just enough talent left on the bench to get them through the tough times. Toronto’s chances will improve slightly if OG Anunoby returns from his emergency appendectomy in time to make an impact, but let’s not split hairs here: The <a href="" target="_blank">Raptors are heavily undervalued</a> in their series against the Bucks, and could certainly give the Warriors a run for their money.</p></div>
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