As the Toronto Raptors emerge from the tire fire that was Game 4's ugly 94-87 loss to the Miami Heat, they travel back to the Big Smoke tied at two games apiece in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Somehow, despite a litany of underwhelming playoff performances, they have not lost the trust of Las Vegas oddsmakers. At least the bookies are optimistic!
Sin City sports books have opened the Raps as 4.5-point favourites for Game 5 with an over/under of 187.5. On home court, Toronto closed with a number of -3.5 in Game 1 and -5 in the second contest.
The Dinos still have a 40/1 shot win the NBA title, while the Heat's odds come in at 50/1. Considering how sloppy the series has been, and with the Cleveland Cavaliers fresh off another sweep, I would not suggest putting any money down on this. But hey, I'm not your dad. You do you.
Beating the Cavs will take a Herculean effort, and looking at Eastern Conference futures shows just how tough that task would be. An outright $100 bet on Cleveland to win the East pays out a hilarious $14, but that same amount on Toronto could net you $750. If Miami heads to the NBA Finals, the profit jumps to $1000.
When it comes to series price, the Raptors are once again healthy favourites. Toronto is available at -145 odds, and the Heat are currently sitting at +125. That means if you put $100 on the Raps to advance to the Eastern Conference finals, you would take home $69. A $100 wager on Miami pays $125.
Here's a look at the updated NBA championship odds across the board. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to say a prayer to the gambling gods on behalf of our maddening basketball team.
Golden State Warriors -143
Cleveland Cavaliers +210
San Antonio Spurs +350
Oklahoma City Thunder +1800
Toronto Raptors +4000
Miami Heat +5000
Portland Trail Blazers +25000
Anyone out there feeling confident enough to take Toronto's odds?