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Warriors now favored to stay alive in Game 5 of the NBA Finals

The Raptors have been as high as a 3.5-point favorite for Monday’s Game 5 as they look to close out the Golden State Warriors at home in the NBA Finals.

That’s no longer the case.

With reports of Kevin Durant’s likely return Monday night, sharp money pushed the number back to pick ‘em and it has continued as they started to appear accurate. Then came a $50,000 bet on the Warriors around 12:30 p.m. Monday at the Westgate that moved Golden State to a 1-point favorite.

“We had just sort of gradually been moving it down,” Westgate sports book executive director John Murray said. “We had a guy come in yesterday that we consider sharp and he took plus-2.5 on the Warriors, so we went down to 1.5 and eventually got to pick ‘em. Then we took that $50,000 bet.”

Murray said he expects the Warriors to remain the favorite unless reports of Durant’s return prove to be false and an announcement is made ruling him out.

The majority of the point spread tickets at the Westgate (69 percent) are on the Raptors despite more money being wagered on the Warriors (68 percent). The money line pool is almost the exact opposite with 65 percent of the tickets on the Warriors.

Murray expects the Warriors to be a big favorite in Game 6 and a small favorite in a potential Game 7 should Durant provide any sort of significant boost in Game 5 to help the Warriors stay alive. The series price will be somewhere around pick ‘em should the Warriors win Monday night.

“If Golden State were to win this game and Durant plays 20 or 25 minutes and looks good, they’d be a very big favorite in Game 6,” Murray said. “You know the public will all be betting them in Game 6.”

The total is at 215.5.

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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