Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Pick for Game 2
Philadelphia 76ers (55-33 SU, 42-46 ATS) vs. Toronto Raptors (63-25 SU, 42-46 ATS)
When: Monday, April 29th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
Point Spread: PHI +6.5 / TOR -6.5 (Intertops Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: Toronto -11
Takeaways From Game One
Game One on Saturday was all Toronto as the Raptors went on to defeat Philadelphia by a score of 108-95 to cover as a 6.5-point favorite and give my friend Matt one in the right column. The victory marked Toronto’s fifth consecutive win. In Game One, the Raptors led by as much as 20 points late in the fourth quarter.
How the Public is Betting the Game Two
57% of the betting public like Toronto here as the home favorite. Line at Intertops movements have coincided with this lean by the consensus. Toronto opened as a six-point favorite but early action on the Raptors caused the line to rise by half of a point to where Toronto is now spotting 6.5 points yet again to the visitors.
Neither the 76ers nor Raptors have expressed any injury concerns to key personnel heading into Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams will be playing this game on two days of rest. For Philadelphia in particular, the 76ers will find solace in the fact that the series will be heading back to the City of Brotherly Love for two games starting on Thursday. Like the Raptors, the 76ers have a strong home court presence as they are 33-11 SU on their own floor but just 22-22 SU away from Philadelphia on the season.
Can Philadelphia’s Physical Presence On The Boards Lead To A Game Two Rebound?
Across the board, Philadelphia is regarded as one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA. In both total rebounds for (47.8 rpg) and total rebounds against (43.5 rpg) the Sixers finished fourth in the league in both categories. On paper, the Sixers have a favorable match-up against a Toronto team that finished 17th overall in total rebounds (45.2 boards per contest) and 13th in the NBA when it comes to total opponent rebounding (44.8 total rebounds against per game). In Game One, Philadelphia did well in this facet as they outrebounded Toronto by a margin of 47-40 total rebounds but didn’t do much with that edge as they shot just 39.3% from the field compared to the Raptors’ stellar field goal percentage of 51.9%. Moreover, the Sixers overall physical presence was undermined by the Raptors in that Toronto outscored Philadelphia 42-40 in the paint.
Can the Raptors Outshoot the Sixers Again and Use Defensive Advantage To Take 2-0 Lead?
The Raptors established themselves as a premier unit in the league in both field goal proficiency and also limiting their opponents’ shooting operations. The Raptors finished fifth in the NBA in field goal efficiency (47.4%) while also holding the opposition’s field goal efficiency to 44.9% (5th overall). As we highlighted, the Raptors were successful in dominating this battle against a Sixers team that finished with an eight-ranked field goal percentage of 47.1%. The question is whether or not Toronto can duplicate that result? If the Raptors defensive acumen could offer up any insights, they might just do so again. Defensively, the Raptors own a substantial advantage as they boast a top-ten defense that allowed just 108.4 points per game (9th in the league) compared to Philly’s defense which was far more accommodating giving up 112.5 points per contest (19th in the NBA). Despite averaging 122.4 points in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Toronto held Philadelphia to under 100 points. The Raptors will place Game Two on its defense’s shoulders to hold serve on home court and take a 2-0 lead.
The Historical / Betting Trends
Overall, the Raptors have been a profitable venture against the 76ers as of late. Toronto is both 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five meetings between these two Atlantic Division rivals.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia +6.5
I expect the Sixers to bounce back in Game Two. Seemingly, the market is in agreement with this narrative as the line is offered at the same number it was in Game One. Bottom line, the Sixers did not shoot well in Game One while the Raptors were lights out and that was the ultimate deciding factor. The last time Philadelphia lost a game was Game One in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against those pesky Brooklyn Nets where they shot 40.7% on the night and were held to just 102 points despite averaging 115.2 points per game overall this season (4th in the NBA). In Game Two, Philadelphia responded with fury as they accumulated 145 points and shot an incredible 56.1%. While I respect the level that Toronto plays at in the Great White North, I do expect the Sixers to offer up a better performance in Game Two. At the minimum, I am expecting Philadelphia to cover but quite frankly I wouldn’t be shocked if the Sixers evened the series.