NBA Finals 2019: Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors Latest Odds, Predictions

Kevin Durant's absence might be a blow for the Golden State Warriors but it will not stop them from winning a third consecutive NBA title. At least not according to the bookmakers, who have the defending champions as the firm favorites heading into the NBA Finals.

According to data compiled by Oddshark, the Warriors are 9/25 (-280 in moneyline terms) favorite to become the first team to clinch a three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers between 2000 and 2002, while the Raptors are at 23/10 to win a maiden title.

The odds for both teams have shortened since the season began back in October. However, while the Warriors have drifted from 5/10 to 9/25, the Raptors have developed from a 14/1 outsider into one of the two teams left standing.

Toronto faces an uphill task to dethrone the Warriors but is a 1.5-point favorite to win Game 1 on Thursday night in Canada, while the over/under bar is set at 213.5 points.

Losing the opening game of the series would present Golden State with a scenario it has never faced in each of its four trips to the NBA Finals under Steve Kerr. The Warriors have won Game 1 of the NBA Finals in each of the last four years.

Crucially, however, in each of those series they held home court advantage and played Game 1 in Oakland.

Golden State does not have that luxury this year and it has lost its only trip to Toronto during the regular season, as the Raptors secured a 131-128 overtime win on November 30. Toronto then completed a series sweep against the Warriors by winning 113-93 in Oakland on December 13.

The odds, however, could swing significantly towards Golden State should Durant return at some stage during the series. The two-time defending NBA Finals MVP has missed the last five games with a calf strain and will sit out Game 1.

According to VegasInsider.com., Durant is 15/1 to be named the Finals MVP for a third consecutive year, well behind 5/8 favorite Stephen Curry. Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green are also both ahead of the 10-time All-Star at 11/4 and 10/1 respectively.

With or without Durant, however, the bookmakers expect the Warriors to prevail.

Golden State is 9/4 to win in six games and 7/2 to clinch the title in Game 5. A win in Game 7 is 4/1 for the Warriors and 9/2 for Toronto, while a series sweep is 7/1 for the former and 40/1 for the latter.