The Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors picked apart their respective first-round opponents, but it’s not about to get easier for them in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Who will get the early series lead? Will it be the Sixers, who just torched the Brooklyn Nets in five games? Or will it be the Raptors, who got the better of Philadelphia back in the regular season? Going into the game the sportsbook favors the Raptors by 5.5-points. See odds for this playoffs series here.
Betting Preview for Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Playoff Round 2 Game 1 on April 27, 2019
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
When: Saturday, April 27 2019
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers (51-31 Regular Season)
The Sixers got tripped up in their first game of these playoffs, falling prey to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the two teams’ first-round series, but since then, Philly hasn’t looked back. They won four games in a row, with three in blowout fashions. The Raptors present a much different challenge for the Sixers, and Philadelphia is to get past Toronto, it needs Ben Simmons to be a more efficient playmaker. Simmons averaged 16.3 points per game on an excellent 62.8 percent shooting from the field in four games in the regular season against Toronto, he turned the ball over 6.3 times per contest in those meetings. With this size, he should be able to find himself in great mismatches in his favor against the likes of Raptors guards Kyle Lowry, Jeremy Lin, and Fred VanVleet. Then there’s Joel Embiid, who was a destructive force in the paint in the first round, with Brooklyn not having any answer to the Cameroonian big man. Embiid averaged 26.3 points on 49.3 field goal percentage in four games in the regular season against Toronto.
Philadelphia is 3-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last four road games.
Betting on the Toronto Raptors (42-40 Regular Season)
Like Philly, the Raptors also lost their first game of the postseason, but went on to win the next four games of the first round against the Orlando Magic. In their 115-96 series-clincher win at home over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, Kawhi Leonard led his team with 27 points, while Pascal Siakam had 24 points. Leonard and Siakam will be expected to produce – or at least be focal points on offense – for the Raptors, but people shouldn’t be sleeping on the value of Marc Gasol. The veteran big man could be the biggest key to success for Toronto, as Gasol has proven he can hold his own against Embiid. Gasol has always managed to slow down Embiid. Gasol, who was still with the Memphis Grizzlies during all of Toronto’s four meetings with the Sixers in the regular season, has held Embiid down to only 14.0 points on 34.4 percent shooting from the field in their past five meetings. In those games, Memphis was 3-2 SU against the Sixers.
Toronto is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games.
Toronto wins, 119-113.
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