Skip to main content
Model Talk: Why The Raptors Have A Real Chance

Toronto surprised some sports fans by winning the Eastern Conference over the Milwaukee Bucks — but the FiveThirtyEight NBA predictions model had given the Raptors the edge in that series. As of our taping, our model also had the Raptors as favorites to win the NBA Finals over the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. By contrast, most analysts — and the Vegas betting markets — are heavily favoring the Warriors. Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, sits down with the Hot Takedown team for the pod’s first edition of Model Talk! Why does our model seem to love the Raptors, and how much are injuries affecting the projections?

Another championship taking place this week is the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham. We’ll unpack Tottenham’s statistically improbable path to the final and whether its underdog status might be a good luck charm after all. Then our Rabbit Hole launches into the forgotten world of Starting Lineup figurines.

What we’re looking at this week:

  • Obviously, all eyes are on our NBA predictions.
  • In advance of the Champions League final, Simon Gleave of Gracenote walks us through some of the most statistically dramatic twists and turns of the tournament.
  • Nostalgic for those Starting Lineup figurines? Your best answer might be eBay.

Grace Lynch is Hot Takedown’s producer.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine is a senior sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.

Sara Ziegler is the assistant sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the sports editor for FiveThirtyEight.