Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers Game 4 Pick
Toronto Raptors (63-27 SU, 42-48 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (57-33 SU, 44-46 ATS)
When: Sunday, May 5th, 2019 – 3:30 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
Point Spread: TOR -1.5 / PHI +1.5
Power Rankings: Philadelphia +3 (Bovada)
Takeaways From Game Three
Game Three was simply a display of supremacy by the Philadelphia 76ers as they never trailed and marched onto defeat their Atlantic Division rivals by a score of 116-95 despite closing as a 1.5-point underdog on their own court. The man of the match was undoubtedly Sixers Center Joel Embiid who led the way with 33 points and 10 rebounds. The big man also swatted away shot attempts like they were flies, compiling five blocks while he was at it.
How the Public is Betting the Game Four
61% of the consensus like Toronto as the road favorite. Line movements have coincided with the lean by the betting public. Toronto opened as a one-point favorite and the line has since risen by half of a point to position the Raptors as a 1.5-point road favorite.
The 76ers nor the Raptors have no injury concerns to key personnel heading into Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams will be playing this game on three days’ rest. For the Raptors, they look forward to returning to Toronto on Tuesday to host Game Five where they have enjoyed home court advantage all season long with a sparkling 35-11 SU record.
Have You Seen Where The Raptors Defense Has Gone?
I had mentioned previously that the Raptors is a team known for their field goal efficiency. They were a top-five outfit in field goal percentage (47.4%) and they finished within the top-five in limiting their opponents shooting operations (44.9%). However, Game Three was by no means an archetypal performance for the Raptors in this regard. Philadelphia shot 51.2% from the field while the Raptors hit just 42.2% of their field goal attempts. Moreover, the Sixers also dialed up from downtown as they hit an incredible 43.5% of their three-point attempts while Toronto hovered at 25.9% from beyond the arc. Once again, this was an atypical performance for We The North, as they normally hit 36.6% of their three-point attempts on average (6th in the NBA) while also being a top-ten unit in defending against the trey as opponents hit 34.5% of their three-point shots (8th in the league). The Raptors will have to tidy up their defensive operations in Game Four or they will have no chance at stopping the Sixers fifth-ranked scoring offense (115.7 points per game) and will be faced with the prospect of taking an early exit from this series.
Can Philly Bully Toronto In The Paint Yet Again In Game Four?
As a whole, the Sixers have established a reputation as a physical team that has no trouble rubbing elbows with the competition. In both total rebounds for (47.8 rpg) and total boards against (43.5 rpg) the Sixers finished fourth in the NBA in both capacities. The Raptors draw a favorable match-up as the Raptors finished 17th overall in total rebounds (45.2 boards per match) and 13th in the NBA when it comes to total opponent rebounding (44.8 total rebounds against per game). In Game Three, the Sixers took full advantage of this narrative and out-rebounded the Raptors by a margin of 45-35. While also wearing their opponents down in the glass, the Sixers also flexed their muscles and doubled their counterparts’ block production. Philadelphia has eight blocks while Toronto had only four. Additionally, the 76ers outscored Toronto 52-36 in terms of points in the paint. Very simply, Philadelphia wore Toronto down and they got inside their head while they did so. The 76ers have a blueprint to follow if they hope to take a 3-1 lead in this series.
The Historical / Betting Trends
Overall, the Raptors have been friendly to bettors against the 76ers as they are 14-6 ATS in the previous 20 contests between the two divisional foes. For Over/Under players, the Under has now gone 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. In this series in particular, the Over has yet to cash.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia +105 (Money Line)
In my Game Two Pick, I said I wouldn’t be shocked if the Sixers pulled an outright upset of the Raptors in the Great White North. Allow me to expand on the premise and say I wouldn’t be shocked if the Sixers won this series outright despite few giving them a chance to do so. The ebb and flow in the Eastern Conference Semifinals has underwent a paradigm shift. After Game One, many heralded the Raptors and more particularly the play of Kawhi Leonard and his 45-point spectacle. In just two games, the Sixers now appear to be the team that is unstoppable. Philadelphia has managed to now keep Toronto’s explosive offense under 100 points for two consecutive games while reaching a new high for scoring in the series, themselves. There is also one other key element, the Sixers are a different team on their own court as they are 33-11 SU in Philadelphia this season. Quite frankly, I think it is an insult to price to this team on their own floors as underdog but that’s just fine because that presents tremendous value. I assure everyone that reads this that Game Three was no fluke. I’ll pass on the point and take Philadelphia outright on the Money Line.
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