The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers meet again in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series on Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with the winner taking a crucial 3-2 lead in their series.
Kawhi’s Historic Postseason
Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard is putting up one of the best playoff performances in history. Through 9 playoff games played, the Klaw is the only player in NBA postseason history to record a statline of at least 30 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while having an effective field goal of 65%. Despite that though, the Raptors find themselves struggling to put away the stubborn Sixers. Going back home for Game 5 will be an advantage knowing that over 80% of the teams that win Game 5 after a series is tied 2-2 go on to win that series.
Pascal Siakam played despite a calf injury and was just 2-10 from the floor but Toronto got big games from Marc Gasol who has 16 points and Kyle Lowry who had 14 points and seven assists. Serge Ibaka also scored 12 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked three shots for Toronto who played better outside of Kawhi for the first time since Game 1.
Odds from betonline.ag as of 4/29/19
After scoring 33 points in Game 3, Joel Embiid shot just 2-7 from the floor and finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. While the numbers still looked pretty, the Sixers cannot afford their best player to take just seven shots in a very important game. Embiid was later found out to be suffering from a bad cold. This after he has been hounded by knee injuries throughout the playoffs and a stomach virus in Game 2.
Jimmy Butler had 29 points for the Sixers but coach Brett Brown opted to give the plays to Embiid in the 4th period. Embiid could not make baskets, committed turnovers and even misses 3 out of 4 free throws during the crucial stretch where Toronto established a good lead. Ben Simmons had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists as the Sixers’ one-two punch looks like they are folding under intense playoff pressure.
The Sixers are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. Philadelphia is 3-1 SU in their last four games played on the road. The Raptors are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. Toronto is 3-2 SU in their last five games played at home. Head to head, the Raptors are 6-4 SU in their last 10 meetings against the Sixers. The Raptors are 14-1 SU in their last 14 home games against the Sixers.
What happened to Joel Embiid in Game 4 is a mystery. Sure, he had a bad case of colds and was sneezing in the locker room afterwards. But these are the playoffs and you play no matter what. Enes Kanter is playing with a separated shoulder in Portland. I can still remember Michael Jordan’s flu game. There is no excuse for Embiid not to play harder. Maybe he is feeling the pressure and is folding under it.
On the other side, Kawhi Leonard is having one of the best playoff runs in the history of the league. After 9 games played in the postseason, Leonard is the only player in NBA playoff history to register a statline of 30 points/5 rebounds/3 assists while having an effective field goal percentage of 65%.
The Raptors were a similar -260 basketball betting favorites in Game 2 after they blasted the Sixers in Game 1. But remember that Philly came back to dominate that game before taking a 2-1 series lead. But the Raptors looked solid in Game 4 and I don’t know what’s wrong with Embiid really. With a chance to go up 3-2 in the pivotal Game 5, I expect Kawhi Leonard to put on another impressive display in front of the Toronto faithful. I’m picking the Toronto Raptors to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series.
Other Bets To Make
Philly is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played. The Sixers are 3-1 ATS in their last four games played on the road. The Raptors are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. Toronto is 3-2 ATS in their last five home games played. Head to head, Toronto is 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games against Philadelphia.
Odds from betonline.ag as of 5/07/19
The Sixers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games when playing on one-day rest. Philadelphia is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Eastern Conference and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. The Raptors are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on one-day rest but only 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 conference semifinals games. These teams are evenly matched and even before the series began, many were saying this one would be close. But I can’t trust the process right now, not with how Embiid has responded to the playoff pressure. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s injuries or illnesses, really.
The Sixers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 head to head meetings. They have covered just half of their 20 games as road underdogs and are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games as underdogs by at least five points. Toronto is 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games as home favorites of more than five points. Prediction: Raptors -6.5
The under is 7-3 in the Sixers’ last 10 games played. Philadelphia has seen the total go under in three out of their last four road games played. The total has gone under in nine out of the last 10 games played by the Raptors. The under is 4-1 in Toronto’s last five games played at home. Head to head, the under is 7-3 in the last 10 games between these two teams.
O 211.5 -110
U 211.5 -110
Odds from betonline.ag as of 5/07/19
The total has gone under in the Sixers’ last six games played overall. The under is also 6-0 in Philadelphia’s last six games against Eastern Conference teams. The total has gone under in the last five games between the Sixers and Raptors. The first four games of this series have seen the total go under. Both teams have not combined to score more than 211 points in any of the first four games of this series. With the stakes at its highest, I expect more of this kind of a defensive effort from both teams. Prediction: Under 211.5