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NBA Playoff Betting Picks May 7 – Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Written by:
Tyrone Black
Published on:
May/07/2019

The Philadelphia 76ers had a chance to take a commanding lead in the series. All they had to do was hold serve at home, but the Toronto Raptors would have none of that.


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Stealing home court advantage back with a win in Game 4, the Raps turned this Eastern Conference semifinal series into a best-of-three with two games if needed played north of the border. The Sixers took control in Game 2 by winning in Toronto for the first time in 15 tries. They’ll have to win at least one more to claim the series and that opportunity comes Tuesday in Game 5.

Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

Opening NBA Odds: Toronto -6, O/U 212.5

76ers at Raptors TV Coverage: TNT

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Odds Analysis

Defense has been the name of the game in this series. Through the first four matchups the losing team failed to reach 100 points, and if the trend continues it likely favors Toronto, which had better numbers across the board on that side during the regular season and through the first round. Heading back to Toronto, the Sixers should at least feel better about their chances after breaking a 14-game losing streak on the Raps home floor in Game 2.

Toronto acquired Kawhi Leonard in a move to change the culture, more directly, the postseason culture. A team that sailed through the regular season winning more than 50 games in each of the previous three seasons, the Raps were bounced after poor play from their stars. It remains to be seen how things end up, but at least the Raps are playing well and Leonard has been the reason why. As good as he’s been offensively, Leonard remains a menacing defender and has helped Toronto hold the Sixers to an average of just over 100 points per game while cashing the under in all four games.

76ers

With their collection of offensive talent you’d expect the Sixers to score more points. In their four wins over the Nets in the first round, Philly averaged 127.5 points per game. That may have been over the top considering they scored 115.2 per outing during the regular season, but it showed how talented they are. That hasn’t been the case in this series. The Raptors are a better squad than Brooklyn, but this is ridiculous.

Philly needs Joel Embiid to be healthy. Tobias Harris hasn’t adjusted to the playoff setting, Ben Simmons is overrated and Jimmy Butler has been inconsistent. Without Embiid, the Sixers are lost on offense. Suffering from flu-like symptoms Embiid scored just 11 points in the Game 4 loss. And without much help from the bench the Sixers were doomed. Embiid will play despite his illness and achy knees. He responded to a 12-point night in Game 2 of the series by dropping 33 the next outing. The Sixers need THAT Embiid to have a chance.

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Raptors

Embiid dominated in Game 3. Leonard has been doing it the entire series, and he’s the main reason why this series is tied. Toronto has issues of its own with Pascal Siakam nursing a sore calf that limited him on Sunday and Kyle Lowry struggling from the field. But they have Leonard to lean on, and he’s carried them. A scintillating 39-point, 14-rebound performance on Sunday lifted the Raptors to a 101-96 win, but Leonard was more willing to talk about the defensive effort. “The games we won we held them to under 100 points, and that’s what we’ve gotta do,” he said.

After falling behind 2-1 in the series and playing a critical Game 4 on the road, the Raptors made some adjustments. Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka played 25 minutes together with each producing. Gasol scored 16 point with five rebounds and Ibaka tallied 12 and nine. The two had been on the court together for a total of 31 minutes during the regular season. “I felt we were getting pushed around a lot by the glass the previous two games,” Nick Nurse said.

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The Sixers have tried with little success to stop Leonard, who’s scored at least 33 points in each game of the series with a high of 45 in the opener. And the combination of Gasol and Ibaka on the floor at the same time gives them a different look, one that produced positive results on Sunday. Like I said earlier, if the trend of defensive games continues, the Raps have the edge. And they have it because of Leonard, who plays on both ends of the floor. Embiid is a big question mark and being limited will again affect the Sixers negatively, giving Toronto the chance to grab the series lead.

NBA Playoff Score Prediction: Raptors 106, 76ers 99

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