2018 Playoffs Preview & NBA Lines for Game 4: Raptors at Cavaliers

Posted by Jordan Walters on Monday,May 7, 2018 9:12, EDT in

The Toronto Raptors were the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference and won a franchise-record 59 games during the regular season. Yet here they are about to be swept out of the playoffs on Monday night by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. MyBookie oddsmakers expect the Cavs to finish things off, as they are -6 in the NBA lines.

Raptors at Cavaliers NBA Linrd & Game 4 Info – May 7th

When: Monday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Stream: Watch NBA
Radio: 1050 AM (Toronto) / 1100 AM (Cleveland)
NBA Lines: Cavs -6 (213.5)

Latest NBA Lines Trends

  • Toronto is 8-14-1 ATS in the last 23 games
  • Toronto is 2-5 SU in the last 7 games
  • The totalwent UNDER in 4 of Toronto’s last 6 games
  • Cleveland is 3-8 ATS in the last 11 games
  • Cleveland is 6-1 SU in the last 7 games
  • The total went OVER in 4 of Cleveland’s last 5 games

Why Bet on Toronto?

Of course no team in NBA history has won a series after trailing 3-0. The Raptors are in that spot following their 105-103 loss in Game 3 on Saturday.

DeMar DeRozan made 3-of-12 from the field for eight points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks and three turnovers in 28 minutes against the Cavs. He had a terrible first half with just three points before halftime and he never got it going. DeRozan didn’t even close the game out as he was on the bench for the final 14:16 because he was playing so poorly. He was a team-worst minus-23 on the night.

Cleveland attacked him with double teams to force him to give up the ball. Cavs coach Ty Lue said a primary facet in the team’s game plan was to try to limit DeRozan and instead give more space to Kyle Lowry, who scored 27 points. The Raptors were down 16 points when coach Dwane Casey benched DeRozan. Toronto slowly made a comeback with the different lineup, eventually tying the game with eight seconds to play before LeBron James hit the game-winner.

Who Else Had a Tough Game 3?

Serge Ibaka moved to the bench against in Game 3, scoring 11 points with eight rebounds, one assist, four blocks, one 3-pointer and six fouls in 28 minutes. He was not effective in the first half, but Ibaka made some plays on the second half with blocks and scoring in the paint to keep the Raptors in it until the last play.  Fred VanVleet started in Ibaka’s place and made 2-of-9 from the field for eight points with rebound, two assists and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes. He had some good looks on 3-pointers, but he couldn’t knock them down.

Toronto is 0-2 all-time when it falls behind 0-3 in a playoff series. The Raptors have been swept (Cleveland 2017, Washington 2015 and New York 2000).

Toronto has been outscored 52-19 (-33) on points off turnovers through three games against Cleveland. The Raptors ranked eighth during the regular-season averaging 17.1 points off opponent turnovers and seventh defensively holding opponents to 15.0 points

Why Bet on Cleveland?

Are the Cavs the safest bet for Game 4 vs. the Raptors?

LeBron James has been the story, and he added to his legend in Game 3 with a ridiculous banked-in buzzer-beater to win it. That said, Kevin Love’s emergence over the last 2 games shouldn’t go unnoticed. Love has 28 points in the paint the last 2 games. He had 22 in the Cavaliers first 8 playoff games.

Love kept it going in Game 3 by scoring 21 points with 16 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 38 minutes. His third-quarter output was key with Love scoring nine consecutive Cavs points while James was on the bench for seven of those, which gave LeBron some rest.

As for James, he finished with 38 points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 41 minutes. Coach Ty Lue had a bold call after a timeout with eight seconds left, choosing to have the Cavs bring it out at the baseline 94-feet away to allow LeBron to get a head of steam and hit a nine-foot floater off the glass at the buzzer to earn this win.

It was LeBron’s second buzzer-beating shot to earn a win this postseason to make him the only player in the last 15 seasons to have multiple game-winning shots at the buzzer in one postseason. It’s also the fifth time he’s hit a postseason buzzer-beater since 2009.

How Has Lebron Done in the Playoffs So Far?

James has 348 points in the 2018 playoffs, the most points by any NBA player through the first 10 contests of a postseason since 1992 (Michael Jordan, 354). He has 4 40-point games these playoffs (most since 2009) and is leading the NBA in points per game at 34.8, while also adding 9.6 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block in 41.7 minutes.

J.R. Smith was under the weather in Game 3 according to Lue. Smith had four fouls, so that kept his minutes down. After scoring a combined 35 points in Games 1 and 2, Smith was scoreless (0-of-2 FGs) in Game 3. “He was sick [Saturday] and he wasn’t supposed to play but he came in and gave us his best effort, which is big,” Lue added.

With the Game 3 victory, the Cavaliers have now won 14 of their last 16 games against Toronto (regular and postseason), which includes 9 straight playoff wins. Cleveland is also 11-1 at The Q against the Raptors since December 2014. Through the first three games of this series, the Cavs are averaging 115.3 points (.491 FG%, .395 3FG%), 22.7 assists and just 7.0 turnovers.

The Cavaliers have gone on to sweep an opponent all 9 occasions when leading 3-0 in a playoff series (2007 First Round vs. WAS, 2009 First Round vs. DET, 2009 Semifinals vs. ATL, 2015 First Round vs. BOS and 2015 Conference Finals vs. ATL, 2016 First Round vs. DET, 2016 Semifinals vs. ATL, 2017 First Round vs. IND, 2017 Semifinals vs. TOR).

Expert NBA Betting Prediction

Cavs will finish off the series but won’t cover that number in the NBA lines.