Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

The Raptors take a 2-1 series lead into Friday’s game at Golden State. Through three games, the Raptors have the edge in point differential, outscoring the Warriors by about six points per 100 possessions. The pace of the series has been about average, with each team playing roughly 99 possessions per game, slightly below the regular season league average of about 100.

Klay Thompson (hamstring) is listed as questionable but is expected to return to the Warriors’ lineup Friday. Kevin Durant (calf) will remain out. Kevon Looney (collarbone) surprisingly is listed as questionable after being called out indefinitely just four days ago. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news, lineups and analysis on today’s game and all fantasy-relevant news.

The Warriors are five-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook in a game that has been given an over/under of 216.5 points.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.


FIVE BETTING TRENDS

— The Warriors have won each of their last 16 home games against Eastern Conference opponents after losing as favorites.

— The Raptors have failed to cover the spread in nine of their last 10 Friday road games.

— The underdogs have won the second half in each of the last 11 games between the Raptors and Warriors.

— Stephen Curry has scored 34+ points in six of his last seven outings.

— Kawhi Leonard has scored 31+ points in six of the Raptors’ last eight road games.

stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors were stretched horribly thin in Game 3 due to the absences of both Klay Thompson ($8,600) and Kevin Durant (calf). The lack of offensive firepower pushed Stephen Curry ($11,800; $17,700 CP) into monstrous usage. Curry posted a 38% usage rate in the game, up from 27% in Games 1 and 2. Curry took 31 shots, his third highest shot output in any game this season, including the regular season, and his highest of this postseason. With Thompson expected to be back in the lineup, Curry’s usage will be a candidate to drop from Game 3. That said, it’s not clear how healthy Thompson will be, and Curry will be a candidate for continued boosted usage from Games 1 and 2, especially given that the Warriors are down in the series. Curry’s usage rate was about 35% in minutes with Durant off the court during the regular season, and that number held steady at about 35% during the Western Conference Finals, which would represent a boost from 27% in Games 1 and 2 of this series.

While Thompson returning is obviously great news for a Warriors team that lacked shooting in Game 3, it’s not clear how healthy or effective Thompson will be, as a lot of Thompson’s offensive game stems from running and movement. Thompson is averaging about 2.9 miles ran per game in the playoffs, per the league’s player tracking system, the second most distance run per game of all players in the postseason. A balky hamstring limiting Thompson’s movement could hurt his ability to free himself for open looks. The good news is Thompson’s height and lightning-quick release allows him to get off shots even when closely guarded. If Thompson is close to healthy, he carries fantasy upside, as his ability to get raging hot from 3-point range can result in an avalanche of scoring in a short timeframe.

Draymond Green ($10,400; $15,600 CP) is Golden State’s top facilitator, creating 17 potential assists per game in this series on 78 passes per game. With the Warriors lacking offensive firepower in Game 3 due to their injuries, Green’s assists dropped despite maintaining a similar volume of facilitating. Warriors players shot just 4-of-15 (27%) off potential Green assists in Game 3 after shooting 19-of-35 (54%) off potential Green assists in Games 1 and 2. Thompson’s return likely will help Green’s assist total rise from Game 3, as Thompson’s gravity could open up better looks for teammates.

DeMarcus Cousins ($6,800) had a strong performance in Game 2 after being inserted into the starting lineup, which might have caught the Raptors a little off guard. Cousins badly struggled in Game 3 and appeared to have very little physically after playing a heavy 28 minutes in Game 2. With a short turnaround for Game 4 with only one day of rest in between games rather than the two days of rest between previous games in this series, Cousins’ physical condition makes him a risky fantasy play, as he has had little time to build his conditioning up after tearing his quad in the first round. The Warriors were outscored by 12 points in minutes with Cousins on the court in Game 3, which could spark another lineup change at center for Game 4. With Kevon Looney ($3,600; collarbone) listed as questionable and uncertain to play, Andrew Bogut ($4,000) could see an expanded role in Game 4. Bogut played 22 minutes in Game 3 and had an even plus-minus.

Other options on Golden State include Andre Iguodala ($5,800) and Quinn Cook ($3,000).

Editor’s Note: Thompson and Looney will be available to play in tonight’s game.


Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were hot from 3-point range in Game 3, making 17-of-38 (45%) of triples after shooting 34% from 3 in Games 1 and 2, 37% during the regular season and 35% in previous playoff games. Danny Green ($4,800) led Toronto’s barrage of 3s, making 6-of-10 in the game. Green got six wide-open 3s in the game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter, a boost from 3.5 wide-open 3s per game previously in this series. Kyle Lowry ($8,000; $12,000 CP) also got hot from deep, making 5-of-9 3s in one of his best games of the postseason. Toronto likely will have some regression from deep in Game 4, especially with Thompson expected to return for Golden State. Thompson is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and his return should give a boost to Golden State’s defense provided he is close to healthy.

Kawhi Leonard ($11,600; $17,400 CP) remains the focal point of the Toronto offense, posting a 28% usage rate in the series, including 29% in Game 3. Leonard has been aggressive in attacking the basket, driving to the basket 16 times per game in this series, which leads all players in the series and is a tick up from his regular season number. Leonard’s aggression in attacking the basket has resulted in a lot of free-throw attempts, averaging 13 free throws per game in this series, a boost from eight per game in previous playoff games and seven per game during the regular season. Leonard has doubled his free-throw attempts off drives to the basket, getting about seven free-throw attempts per game off drives in this series, a boost from about three per game off drives during the regular season. Leonard has punished the Warriors with efficient free-throw shooting, making 92% of his free throws.

Lowry was also more aggressive in driving to the basket in Game 3, making 13 drives, a boost from nine per game in previous playoff games. It was part of an overall more aggressive game from Lowry, who took 16 shots and nine 3-point attempts, boosts from 11 shots per game and six 3-point attempts per game in previous playoff games this season. A more aggressive Lowry gives him a much better fantasy outlook, as it improves both the floor and ceiling of his production due to more volume.

Pascal Siakam ($9,400; $14,100 CP) has drawn a tough offensive assignment with former defensive player of the year Draymond Green serving as Siakam’s primary defender. Green has guarded Siakam on 34 possessions per game in this series, per the league’s player tracking system, the most head-to-head defensive possessions from either side. Siakam took Green’s lunch money in Game 1, shooting 70% on shots guarded by Green but has struggled against Green since then, shooting just 17% on shots guarded by Green in Games 2 and 3.

On the other side of the ball, Fred VanVleet ($6,000) has been Curry’s primary defender and has done an excellent job on Curry, holding Curry to just 22% from 3-point range and 33% shooting from the field on shots guarded by VanVleet in this series. VanVleet started the second half of Game 3 and had an efficient shooting game, shooting 50% from the field and 50% from 3. With VanVleet doing such a good job guarding Curry, his minutes look safe.

Other options on Toronto include Marc Gasol ($6,400) and Serge Ibaka ($4,400).


THE OUTCOME

The Warriors have homecourt advantage, and Oracle Arena traditionally has been a difficult place to play due to the construction and acoustics of the area. Klay Thompson’s expected return should be a big boost on both sides of the ball, as Thompson is one of the league’s best perimeter defenders and gives the Warriors another dynamic shooting option on offense. The downside is the Warriors are thin due to their injuries, and only one day of rest in between games could play a factor in fatigue. However, homecourt and Thompson’s return might be enough to propel the Warriors and tie the series 2-2 going back to Toronto.

Final score: Warriors 106, Raptors 100


FAVORITE PROP BET

Draymond Green, over 8.5 assists (+120)

Green went over this number in four straight games prior to Thompson’s hamstring injury, including Games 1 and 2 of this series, and Thompson’s expected return should help in this department. Teammates shot 60% off potential Green assists during the regular season, and Green is creating a heavy 17 potential assists per game in this series, which would put Green’s assist total at about 10 if shots fall at the same rate.


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