Welcome to the Tuesday, May 7 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: 2-3 (.400)
Semi-final round series results:
- April 27: Raptors 108, 76ers 95 (Scotiabank Arena)
- April 29: 76ers 94, Raptors 89 (Scotiabank Arena)
- May 2: 76ers 116, Raptors 95 (Wells Fargo Center)
- May 5: Raptors 101, 76ers 96 (Wells Fargo Center)
5/6/19 NBA Betting Pick:
Philadelphia 76ers (51-31 reg. season, 6-3 postseason) vs. Toronto Raptors (58-24 reg. season, 6-3 postseason)
The Raptors were desperately trying to avoid going down 3-1 in the series on Sunday. Accordingly, they played with a level of urgency befitting the stakes and pulled out a crucial road win. Pascal Siakam shook off a doubtful designation to take the floor and turn in a modest nine points. However, his presence was important nonetheless. Siakam was able to log a solid 29 minutes and could be in for a bump Tuesday. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard continued his thorough domination of the 76ers by racking up 39 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. He’s now averaging 38.0 points on 62.0 percent shooting during the series, including 48.6 percent from three-point range.
Also pivotal to Toronto’s victory Sunday were somewhat rare contributions from Danny Green and Marc Gasol. Both had mostly struggled throughout the series prior to Sunday. Green got into double digits in the scoring column for the second time in the first four games, totaling 11 points. However, it’s worth noting eight of those came on free throws. Then, Gasol stepped up with a series-high 16 points (on 53.8 percent shooting) across 39 minutes. Serge Ibaka‘s surge was important as well. With Siakam at less than 100 percent, Ibaka pitched in 12 points and nine rebounds across 32 minutes off the bench.
The 76ers’ first unit was impressive in its own right. All five players put up double digits in the scoring column. Much like Leonard on the other side, Jimmy Butler seems to have cracked the code of the opposition during the series. Butler turned in 29 points and 11 rebounds among his contributions and is now averaging 22.8 points for the series. J.J. Redick‘s solid 19 points followed Butler’s tally. However, the worrisome trend of Philadelphia frontcourt’s scoring issues continued.
Tobias Harris‘ 7-for-23 performance from the floor was just the latest example of his shooting difficulties against Toronto. He’s now shot 35.3 percent or worse in three of the series’ four games. Then, Joel Embiid took just seven shot attempts for the second time in the series. He furnished just 11 points over 35 minutes. That makes three sub-20-point efforts for Embiid in the four games against the Raptors. That naturally has played a direct hand in the Sixers falling short of the century mark in all three of those contests.
Lending further credence to another low-scoring slugfest Tuesday is how poor both Embiid and Harris shot in the first two games in the series at Scotiabank Arena. Embiid went a combined 7-for-23 in Games 1 and 2. For his part, Harris produced a similarly poor 9-for-28 tally during that pair of contests. Those meager numbers aren’t completely surprising. Consider the Raptors are yielding a stingy 106.1 points per Scotiabank tilt (including postseason).
By The Numbers
The Under is 7-2 (77.7 percent) in the 76ers’ playoff games this postseason. The Under is also 14-11 (56.0 percent) in Philadelphia’s division games.
Then, the Under is 8-1 (88.8 percent) in the Raptors’ playoff games this postseason. The Under is also 11-9 (55.5 percent) in Toronto’s division games.
The Final Word
The projected totals in this series have progressively come down, but not far enough in my view. The two teams match up very closely. Although both Leonard and Butler have bedeviled the opposition, each squad seems to have a pretty good feel for how to at least limit the other pieces. The projected total has only come down about three points from Sunday. Plus, there’s no true sign that either squad can really rack up points in this series against the other. Therefore, I see the Under hitting again.
The Pick: Under 211.5