Welcome to the Sunday, May 5 edition of the NBA Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one NBA bet for Sunday’s 76ers-Raptors playoff matchup I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
ATS Leans/Picks: 3-1 (.750)
Moneyline: 1-0 (.1000)
Over/Under: 1-3 (.250)
Semi-final round series results:
- April 27: Raptors 108, 76ers 95 (Scotiabank Arena)
- April 29: 76ers 94, Raptors 89 (Scotiabank Arena)
- May 5: 76ers 116, Raptors 95 (Wells Fargo Center)
5/5/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Philadelphia 76ers (51-31 reg. season, 6-2 postseason) vs. Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 5-3 postseason)
The 76ers managed to keep the momentum they’d built by stealing a game at Scotiabank Arena, parlaying their home-court advantage into a hard-fought, five-point victory in Game 3. In addition to the 2-1 series lead the victory garnered, Philadelphia also saw attrition take its effect on the Raptors. Star forward Pascal Siakam, averaging 23.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting in the series, picked up a calf injury that has him labeled doubtful for Game 4.
An absence by Siakam would naturally do plenty to dampen Toronto’s prospects. The third-year big has been a breakout star, and he’s helped control Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris down low at times over the first three games. The Raptors do certainly have excellent depth in the form of Serge Ibaka. However, the veteran has been inconsistent during the series, averaging just 4.3 points over 16.0 minutes. Naturally, expanded playing time should help boost his production. But, of course, Ibaka’s presumed shift into the first unit will weaken Toronto’s bench.
The 76ers have proven ill-equipped to slow down Kawhi Leonard. But they’ve been very effective against most of the Raptors’ other important pieces. Kyle Lowry is shooting just 34.6 percent through the first three games and has scored in single digits in two of them. He owns an atrocious 11.1 percent success rate from three-point range. Marc Gasol is averaging a meager 6.7 points on 29.2 percent shooting. And, Danny Green is putting up just 7.7 points per contest over the first three while shooting 36.0 percent, including 30.6 percent from behind the arc.
If Siakam does indeed miss Sunday’s game, the Sixers will be free to clamp down on Leonard as much as possible with double teams at minimum. That should help keep Toronto’s already modest scoring down once again. For perspective, consider the Raptors have scored under 100 points in each of the last two games with their first unit at full health. And with OG Anunoby also out as a result of his recent appendectomy, the visitors will be particularly thin at power forward.
Finally, the 76ers did enjoy an offensive breakout of sorts in Game 3. However, they too failed to hit the century mark in two contests already during this series. Plus, none of the three games thus far have eclipsed Sunday’s projected total, lending credence to the notion of the Under hitting.
By The Numbers
The Under is 7-1 (87.5 percent) in the Raptors’ playoff games this postseason. The Under is also 12-8 (60.0 percent) in games Toronto has played with two or three days of rest this season and postseason and 10-9 (52.6 percent) in their division games.
Then, the Under is 6-2 (75.0 percent) in the 76ers’ playoff games this postseason. The Under is also 16-10 (61.5 percent) in games Philadelphia has played with two or three days of rest this season and postseason and 13-11 (54.2 percent) in their division games.
The Final Word
The spread is admittedly very inviting with Siakam doubtful, but I’m staying away because I think this could be an unpredictable game with Toronto desperate. However, I do feel both teams will play sharp defense overall, especially considering they now know each other’s current tendencies four games in. And a Siakam absence certainly should cut into the Raptors’ overall firepower. As such, I see the game coming in just under the total.
The Pick: Under 214.5