Raptors vs. 76ers Odds
|Above under||215.5 (-115 / -105)|
|time||7:30 p.m. Eastern time|
|cross odds BetMGM. Get up to a minute NBA odds here.|
Philadelphia 76ers He made an absolute statement in Game 1 thanks to a 20-point win over Toronto wild birds. They still need to secure three more wins to advance, but with major injuries to the Raptors – specifically Scotty Barnes – the path is definitely easier than it seemed in the first game.
Can Joel Embiid lead this team to victory and secure a 2-0 lead before heading to Toronto?
Let’s break it down.
Scotty Barnes’ injury will have a huge impact
The Raptors suffered a heavy blow to their starting lineup in the first game. Barnes (Ankle) was officially listed as suspect after Embiid inadvertently set foot in the first match. The injury looked very painful and it would be amazing to see him back in action. 2.
It’s a shame really, considering he was just two passes shy of a three-pointer in his first playoff. It totally belongs to this level.
Besides Barnes, the Raptors listed both Gary Trent Jr (illness) and Thaddeus Young (thumb) as suspect. Given that Barnes averaged 35.4 minutes per game, Trent averaged 35 minutes and Young 18.3 minutes, their depth will be tested.
Without Barnes and Trent, Pascal Siakam, Fred Vanfleet, and Og Anonobi would see their roles dramatically increase. Plus, I imagine we’ll see more minutes of Armoni Brooks and Yuta Watanabe.
If any coach can beat these injuries, it’s Nurse Nick. However, there is only so much talent that a nurse can pull off the list that she has already topped in this match.
The big problem for the Raptors would be that they lack the length and positional versatility that Barnes provides. They will be more limited in their defensive schemes and lose their secondary facilitator in attack.
I think this could force the Raptors to play more low and switch less in defense, as they will be less able to handle the different offensive forms. This should open up more opportunities for Therese Maxi and James Harden in particular.
Welcome to Harden’s World
The 76ers out of 76 are looking to build on their solid performance in Game 1 and with the Raptors injured they sure should be able to head to Toronto with a 2-0 lead in the series.
Let’s say this now: James Harden is vastly better at opening up this offense than Ben Simmons was. The pressure he creates and the gravity he possesses not only bend and disrupt defenses, but he uses this to improve his teammates.
He scored a 22-point baseline, five rebounds and 14 assists on Saturday, and assisted in 45.2% of his teammates’ shots, per cleaning the glasses.
Harden can continue to do so, as he and Maxey hunt down VanVleet as a mismatch when they are on attack. Whoever guards Van Fleet is more likely to get a chance to score.
The most impressive thing was that they did not need an Embiid to register in order to gain control. Showing himself on the defensive side of the ball, Embiid mixed the ball adequately with the amount of pressure Embiid put on Sicam, forcing the Raptors to fight offensively.
Now, with Barnes likely out, I imagine Embiid could commit more to Siakam’s defense and give him less room to act.
Plus, if Maxey and Tobias Harris are going to keep playing at this pace, you can book your sweeps now. While another 38-point performance was unlikely, Maxi handled every defensive look the Raptors threw, and Harris dropped his open gaze and even demanded the ball.
The Sixers have dominated all of their starting players, and with all of their starting bases playing for over 37 minutes, they should keep doing that.
Raptors 76ers Pick
Birds of prey need this game. However, the saying goes: the series does not begin until the road team wins a playoff.
So while they want to avoid returning to Toronto after losing 2-0, they certainly didn’t get out of it once they lost in Philadelphia again. However, if they lose this match through another dominant showing from Philadelphia, their chances will definitely be slim.
Toronto needs major contributions from VanVleet, Siakam and Anunoby to stand a chance, and in this match – where the 76 players can mix up their defensive looks – that’s a tall order.
The 76ers are more in depth at this point, and Barnes and Young’s injuries — along with Trent’s disease — severely hamper the nurse’s ability to plan the game and make mid-game adjustments.
That streak only moved two points from its position in Game 1, and now it’s likely to be the Raptors without Barnes, Young, and Trent. Given the massive amount of minutes they all play, that streak feels short after winning 20 points 76.
I will support the 76ers to take the 2-0 lead in the series and cover the spread.
picking Sixers -6.5
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