The NBA Finals heads west to Oracle Arena tonight for a pivotal Game 3 between the Raptors and Warriors after two hotly-contested games north of the border. Let’s get after it in our Game 3 betting preview.

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Betting preview

There’s still no Kevin Durant for Golden State and Klay Thompson is on the injury report after tweaking his hamstring in Game 2, but it’s still hard not to feel like the momentum is in their favor now that they’re back at home. Consider this: Golden State is 169-36 at Oracle Arena dating back to the start of the 2015-2016 season, winning 82.4% of their games played there. They’re an even more remarkable 36-6 at during the postseason, good for an 85.7% win-percentage. Crazy town.

Steph Curry comes in having scored at least 33 points in six of his last seven contests, and if Golden State can get anything close to the spirited 11 points and 11 rebounds DeMarcus Cousins gave them in Game 2, the Raptors could be up against it. Either way, they’ll need to look more like they did in Game 1 when they shot over 50% from the field and just over 39% from three, and much less like they did this past Sunday when they shot only 37% from the floor and 29% from the field. If they run back that type of offensive performance tonight with prolonged cold spells and allow the Warriors to rip off anything close to their 18-0 third quarter run of Game 2, things are going to get ugly.

So, who’s going to get it done and seize the upper-hand? Let’s get into it and find out.


NBA Finals Game 3 Odds

Here are the Raptors-Warriors odds for Game 3:

DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread Money Total
Raptors +4.5 +175  213
Warriors -4.5  -200  213


Spread Money Total
Raptors +4.5  +171 213
Warriors -4.5  -200 213

That’s a short number for Golden State, and it’s also a rarity. Currently, this game would mark only the fourth time this season the Warriors weren’t favored by more than at least five points. It’s also only the fifth time they would be favored by less than six points. Simply put, we just don’t see short lines with the Warriors at Oracle Arena. For what it’s worth, Golden State is 2-1 ATS this season when favored by less than five points at home.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about line movement. This game opened at some books with the Warriors has much as a six-point spread favorite and a -240 moneyline favorite, so things have shifted towards Toronto as we move into Wednesday morning. As of mid-day Tuesday, Golden State was still pulling in more action both in terms of total money and number of bets, but sharp and common bettors began to pound Toronto later in the day. In fact, at one point on Tuesday night, the Warriors were receiving less than 40% of the total action across the entire reporting legal market, which would be the least its gotten this season.

As of Tuesday morning, DraftKings reported about a 60-40 split in favor of the Warriors on both moneyline and spread, prior to the line moving down to 4.5.

In case you’re wondering, that actually bodes well for the Warriors. They are 7-2 ATS under Steve Kerr when their opponent gets more than 60% of bets placed. Moreover, home teams getting 40% or less of total spread bets are 11-6 ATS dating back to the 2005 NBA Finals, so keep an eye on where the money is flowing ahead of tipoff. 



If you’re so inclined, FiveThirtyEight has both Game 3 and the series as a toss-up, with the Raptors having a 49% chance in both. As was the case prior to Game 1, the statistical projections reveal potential value for betting on the Raptors. AT +175, the implied win probability is 36%– this compared to the perhaps 49% actual win probability.

If you like the Raptors, they’re a good bet.

If you trust FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO forecast, which takes into account player projections.

Their ELO forecast sets the line at… exactly 4.5 points.


General betting trends

Let’s first start with each team’s overall performance against the spread. The Raptors are a mediocre 48-53-1 ATS this season while the Warriors have been one of the NBA’s worst cover teams this year at 43-55-2. I don’t typically factor a team’s overall cover performance when picking the games, but these overall ATS records don’t reveal much, other than to say Golden State spreads have probably been consistently inflated based on reputation. Now, let’s go a little deeper. In terms of home/road ATS performance. Despite a 36-13 SU record at home, the Warriors have been a miserable 19-29-1 ATS in their own building, giving them the league’s third-worst home cover rate at 39.6%. Meanwhile, Toronto is only one of three teams with a better than .600 winning-percentage on the road, but is only 22-26-1 ATS overall. They are, however, a solid 11-8 ATS as road dog this season.

Golden State also hasn’t been terribly successful after a win this season while playing at home as they’re 14-21 ATS record shows. Toronto, meanwhile, is a strong 21-9 SU after a loss this season, but only 14-16 ATS.

NBA Finals Trends

Here are some things to know from a recent historical perspective ahead of this one:

Home teams only 5-9 ATS in Game 3 of the NBA Finals over the past 14 seasons.

Home teams are 18-18-1 ATS when favored by five points or less during the NBA Finals. More specifically, those teams are 7-8-1 ATS in Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals dating back to the 2004-2005 season. If we manipulate the spread range to a more exact four to five points, home teams are 8-10 ATS during the NBA Finals during that same period. Thus, recent history doesn’t divulge a strong home/road trend based on the point spread.


Good things come to those who wait

A strange one here, but many bettors like to jump in with live betting or place additional wagers at halftime. If you plan to do that this evening, here’s something to know: Underdogs have covered the second half spread in the last 10 second halves between these two teams. Obviously, you should keep a close eye on how things transpire early and consider your additional wagers before jumping in, but recent history suggests there could be an opportunity worth seizing here.



A truly bizarre game. Toronto comes in as a short underdog at +4.5 which we just don’t typically see against the Warriors at home. Despite this rarity, 4.5 points is still a lot of points, and public money has been flowing towards Toronto with Klay Thompson a bit banged up and a sense that the Raptors have been the better team through two games. That said, the Warriors have quite literally been money when the public bets heavy against them, as have home teams in the NBA Finals. It’s hard to ignore those trends, particularly when you consider just how good Golden State has been at home. Still, I can’t lay that many points, so I’m going to say something that goes against my normal principles. I like the favorite to cash on the moneyline, but I’ll take the underdog with the points.