If you’re the type of Raptors fan who stays optimistic in all situations, now is the time to get on board. Toronto were paying good money to win the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and that potential payout just got bigger after the game-one loss to the Bucks.
It was inevitable that Toronto would start the Eastern Conference Finals as the underdog. After all, Milwaukee had a whole week to recover after thrashing Boston in the second round of the NBA playoffs. The Raptors, on the flipside, had only a couple of days to prepare after Kawhi Leonard’s last-second heroics gave the team a victory to remember over Philadelphia in game seven.
But that was all in the past and the Raptors v Bucks East Finals series is in the present. After going down 1-0, the task facing the Raptors is tough but plausible. Toronto must steal at least one win at Milwaukee and win all three games at the Scotiabank Arena to go through to the 2018-19 NBA Finals.
Raptors Trail Bucks in NBA East Betting
No matter which way you look at it, the Toronto Raptors are underdogs in the online betting odds. In Eastern Conference Winner betting, William Hill is paying 1/5 for the Milwaukee Bucks and just 7/2 for the Toronto Raptors. Those are seriously great odds if you’re a Raptors fan – for every $1 dollar you bet, you can get back $3.50 if the Raptors win.
The Raptors are paying some good odds in single match betting. Ahead of game two in Milwaukee on Friday night, the bookmakers were giving the Raptors a +6.5 point head start in spread betting. Given Toronto led for most of the night in game one in Milwaukee before being overtaken in the final quarter, it might just be worth jumping on the Raptors in game two.
Toronto Raptors are Third in NBA Title Betting
Not surprisingly, the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks are the two favorites for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association title, paying 1/2 and 2/1 odds respectively. Interestingly, Toronto is actually a clear third in the betting market, at somewhat realistic 10/1 odds. This puts the Raps well ahead of the other team participating in conference finals, the Portland Trail Blazers, who are paying 33/1.
The Raptors may be at long odds now but you can expect to come in significantly if they can snatch an away win at Milwaukee at any stage in this series. Therefore, if you have a hunch Toronto can win the championship, now is probably the time to get the best odds.
Basketball Competing with Hockey in Sports Betting
It goes without saying that hockey is Canada’s most popular sport for betting. With the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing, Canadians are sure to wager plenty of money on the outcome. But something’s missing this year. Given the absence of Canadian teams in the final four, interest north of the border appears to be slightly down on previous years.
Incredibly, 2019 may mark the first year ever that Canadians have more invested in the NBA playoffs than the NHL playoffs. Basketball, one of the biggest sports globally, is big in Canada but not as big as hockey. The Raptors have made the NBA’s final four for only the second time in their 25-year history. But that’s one more Canadian team in the 2018-19 NBA conference finals than in the 2018-19 NHL conference finals – and that’s big news for basketball betting in Canada.