The Toronto Raptors, who hold a 3-1 lead in the series, opened as high as 3.5-point favorites in what could be a clinching Game 5. The line started shrinking Sunday, when it was announced Durant would practice with the Warriors. On Monday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Durant plans to play, and the point spread continued to drop.
Caesars Sportsbook, as well as other sportsbooks in Las Vegas and New Jersey, have made the Warriors 1-point favorites.
"The money on the Warriors started coming in on Sunday morning," Jeff Stoneback, director of risk for MGM race and sports, told ESPN. "It really hasn't stopped. It's one of those times when the public and the sharp guys are on the same side."
Durant injured his calf on May 9 in Game 5 of the Warriors' playoff series against the Houston Rockets. He has not played in a game since. Without him, Golden State has dropped three of four to the Raptors and is now facing elimination.
As of Monday afternoon, twice as much money had been bet on the Warriors as had been bet on the Raptors at MGM books, Stoneback said. The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas reported taking a $50,000 bet on the Warriors at Pick 'em and promptly made Golden State the favorite Monday afternoon.
The action was more evenly distributed at other sportsbooks. At Caesars Sportsbook, for example, 51.1 percent of the point-spread bets were on Toronto.
Durant is 25-1 to win Finals MVP at DraftKings sportsbook in New Jersey. The Raptors' Kawhi Leonard, at -500, is the favorite to win MVP.
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