Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers Pick
Toronto Raptors (65-27 SU, 44-48 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (57-35 SU, 44-48 ATS)
When: Thursday, May 9th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
Point Spread: TOR -2 / PHI +2
Power Rankings: Philadelphia +5
Takeaways From Game Five
Game Five would have to be classed as a complete performance for the Raptors as they were dominant on both sides of the ball. As a six-point favorite at most sites, there was never any question Toronto would cover in the Great White North on Tuesday night. The Raptors would outright steamroll the 76ers and put together an impressive 125-89 victory. The game was nothing short of a display of supremacy as Toronto would lead by as much as 40.
How the Public is Betting the Game Six
At the moment, the public is right down the middle in this market as there is a 50/50 split on both sides. Nevertheless, Toronto opened as a one-point favorite and we have seen the line move upward by a point to its present position of the Raptors as two-point chalk.
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The Historical / Betting Trends
Very simply, the Raptors have been cash cow against the 76ers as they are 16-6 ATS in the previous 22 matches between these two divisional rivals. For Over/Under players, the Under has now gone 6-1 ATS in the last seven games. The Over cashed for the first time in this series in Game Five.
Neither the Sixers nor the Raptors have expressed any injury concerns to key personnel heading into Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
These two teams were last in action two days ago. Should Philly force a Game Seven, it will take place in Toronto on Sunday.
Can The Raptors Defense Undermine The High-Powered Sixers Offense Yet Again?
The Philadelphia 76ers finished the season with a top-five ranked scoring offense (115.7 points per game). Nevertheless, the Toronto Raptors have been putting on a defensive spectacle as they have held the Sixers to under 100 points in four of the five games within this series. Game Four was the best performance offered by the tenacious Raptors defense in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Toronto held Philadelphia to a paltry 89 points which is a playoff low for the 76ers. A key factor in this outcome was the perimeter defense of Toronto which held Philadelphia to 25% from beyond the arc. The Raptors as a whole are one of the better teams in the NBA in defending against the three as they finished sixth in the league with opponents hitting 36.6% of their three-point attempts.
Can Philadelphia Muscle Up With Toronto To Force Game Seven?
It is hard to locate any facet of Game Five where the Sixers had something working in their favor. After all Philadelphia was handily defeated in a several key areas. The Raptors committed less turnovers (19-13), they scored more points in the paint (38-32), and they outclassed the Sixers in fast break points (33-8). The Sixers’ only hope of getting back into this series is to play a physical game and wear down this tough Toronto bunch. As a whole, the Sixers have established a reputation as a force on the glass. Philadelphia finished a top-four unit in both total rebounds (47.8 rpg) and total boards against (43.5 rpg). On paper, the Sixers should have an edge as the Raptors 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 match). However, Toronto bested Philadelphia on the boards as well in Game Five by a margin of 42-37. If the Sixers find themselves in a similar predicament in Game Six, this game will get out of hand yet again.
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Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Toronto -2
I will keep this one short yet sweet: you can stick a fork in the 76ers because they are finished. Throughout this series, there have been two presiding issues that Philadelphia have not been able to address. First, their offense outside of Game Three has seemed virtually non-existent. With respect to the 116 points the Sixers generated against Toronto in the aforementioned contest, it is worth annotating that Philly hit 51% of their field goals so perhaps they just had a hot night and nothing more. Philadelphia’s play in the seceding two matches thereafter would certainly reinforce that premise. Second and perhaps an even bigger issue considering their offense has had no answer, the 76ers cannot stop Kawhi Leonard. The All-NBA Forward has averaged 34.6 points per game against the Sixers and has also compiled three double-doubles in this series as he secured over 10 rebounds in each of these scenarios. It is for these reasons that some other sportsbooks would suggest that the Sixers should actually be taking back more points here. Such a position would be justified as I can easily see Toronto laying the wood and blowing the doors off of Philadelphia to end this series. Be that as it may, I’ll happily spot the basket.