Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting Tips
Toronto has not been known for getting off on the right foot in the postseason. But with the win in Game One, they improved to 3-14 all-time in the opening game of a postseason series. However, can they keep the momentum going against a talent-stacked team like the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Two? Or will the 76ers make the right adjustments and steal a win in Toronto?
Spread: Raptors by 6.5
Money Line: 76ers +220; Raptors -260
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
The 76ers knew that the Raptors were going to be a serious challenge heading into Game One. As it turns out, it was a challenge they were not quite ready for. They couldn’t stop Kawhi Leonard. Pascal Siakam was a force making 12 of his 15 shot attempts. If that wasn’t bad enough—they struggled to create any offence of their own. But the 76ers are not going to be deterred; head coach Brett Brown said as much after the game: “We’re not going home; we’re not going away. We will dig in and come back better in Game 2.” Joel Embiid is going to have to get free of Marc Gasol and make some more shots. He can’t miss nine of his first 13 shots as he did in the first half of Game One. Whether he creates them himself or Ben Simmons sets him up, he needs to take more than the five shots he took in the second half (made only one). Philadelphia can’t have 16 turnovers against a team like Toronto again, either (the Raptors turned them into 22 points). However, the 76ers did do a great job of crashing the offensive glass; they had 13 offensive rebounds to just two for Toronto.
Since the 2013-14 season, the Raptors have had the 76ers number, and that trend continued in Game One with a relatively easy win. It was the 14th consecutive win for the Raptors over the 76ers in Toronto, and it brought their record to 22-3 against Philadelphia since 2013. How it came about is just how the Raptors would like—Kawhi Leonard dominated on both ends of the court, setting a new career postseason high in the process (45 points). Pascal Siakam had a great day with 29 points. But they probably wouldn’t mind getting a little more out of Kyle Lowry (nine points and eight assists). But what was even better than their offensive production was their defence. No one scored more than 17 points for the 76ers. Joel Embiid was held to just 16 points and made only five of 18 shots. Heading into Game Two, Toronto is going to want to do the same thing. But they will, of course, have to be prepared for whatever new wrinkles the 76ers are going to throw at them.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors Head-to-Head
The 76ers and Raptors played four times this season; Toronto won three while Philadelphia won just one. All three of Toronto’s wins were fairly convincing (by 17, 11, and 12 points). But the 76ers had the most significant margin of victory at 25 points (126-101). From a historical perspective, the Raptors lead the all-time series with 54 wins to 38 for the 76ers. They have also met in the playoffs once before, for the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals; Philadelphia won the series, 4-3. The Raptors lead the current series, 1-0.
Odds and Predictions
Toronto’s defence has been on a roll lately having gone five games without allowing 100 points. But that trend is going to come to an end in this series. The 76ers are too good of a team to be held back the entire series. They will undoubtedly have a better game Monday night in Toronto then they did in Game One. But will it be enough to get the win this time? Probably not. Toronto had the 76ers number in the regular season, and they had it again in Game One. There is no reason to think Game Two will not have a similar outcome. It will be a more competitive game. But in the end, the Raptors will come out on top again. Take Toronto to win (-260), straight up and against the spread (-6.5). As for the over/under (220.5), look for the scoring to be similar to Game One and take the under.
Expert Betting Tip
The 76ers are not on the same level as the Raptors. Feel safe taking Toronto to win.