With the first NBA finals game of the season kicking off in Toronto tonight, fans are getting anxious as they continue to cheer on the Raptors. While this is the first time the Raptors will be competing in the NBA finals, fans are still holding onto hope that they will be able to defeat the two time champions, the Warriors. One University of Toronto professor just used a mathematical model to calculate the odds of the Raptors winning the NBA finals, and the chances aren't as high as we had hoped.
According to Global News, Jeffrey Rosenthal created a mathematical model at the beginning of the playoffs to help determine which team had the better odds at winning the NBA finals. Rosenthal states that the Raptors only have a 51% chance of winning the finals, but playing in their home court will give them a slight advantage.
Rosenthal told Global that he based his mathematical model off the team's season performances and how they performed both on the road, and in their home stadium. He admits that he only spent a couple of hours behind the computer coming up with these results, but they are similar to another mathematical result by FiveThirtyEight which gives the Raptors a 54% chance of winning the finals.
However, if you are just focusing on whether the Raptors will win the game tonight, Rosenthal states that their chances are slightly higher at 54%.
Yet, according to these stats that the University of Toronto professor has come up, the Raptors have already beaten the odds of making it to the finals in the first place. The Raptors only had a 46% chance of winning the semi-final series.
Despite the high hopes from Raptors fans, this isn't the first time that the Raptors have been scored low throughout this season. According to CBC Sports, not a single Raptors player was picked higher than 15th in the official NBA draft, which made the Raptors one of the more unsuspecting teams.
Since the draft lottery was created in 1985 not a single team has made it to the NBA finals that didn't have a team member that was picked 14th or higher in the NBA roster, meaning the Raptors are continuing to beat the odds.
When CBC asked the Raptors what they thought of their low ratings, they state that the numbers don't really bother them. Marc Gasol states that these rankings "tell you more about how much of a lottery the draft is and how much more important it is to put the work in every day and continue to improve as a player."
Game 1 of the NBA Finals