How to Bet Cavaliers at Raptors Game 2 NBA Odds & Preview

Posted by Jordan Walters on Thursday,May 3, 2018 9:33, EDT in

The Toronto Raptors were upset at home in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series as solid NBA betting favorites against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday. LeBron looks for 2-0 lead in the series but his Cavs are again NBA odds underdogs against for Game 2 on Thursday night.

Cleveland at Toronto NBA Odds & Game 2 Info

When: Thursday, 6 PM ET
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: 1100 AM (Cleveland) / 1050 AM (Toronto)
NBA Odds: Raptors -6.5 (212.5)

Why Bet on Cleveland’s NBA Odds?

The Cavs were exhausted from finishing up their seven-game series with Indiana on Sunday. LeBron James admitted he was spent. Cleveland surely wasn’t going to go to Toronto, the team that tied for the NBA’s best home record, and win Game 1 against a rested Raptors squad!?  Wrong.

Despite never leading in regulation, the Cavaliers stunned the home side 113-112 in overtime. It was the first game of LeBron’s playoff career where his team got the win despite never leading during regulation. The Cavaliers were the second team in the last 20 postseasons to win a game despite never leading in regulation (also Mavericks at Thunder on May 23, 2011).

James had his 21st postseason triple-double, 2nd most in NBA playoff history behind Magic Johnson (30). LeBron hit 12-of-30 shots and a 3-pointer for 26 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, a steal and two blocks in 47 minutes. LeBron hit just 1-of-6 free throws and missed the game-winner at the regulation buzzer, but he also committed just one turnover on the night. The Cavaliers seized home-court advantage despite being down 14 points early.

Kyle Korver hit 7-of-17 shots and five 3-pointers for 19 points, two rebounds and one assist in 38 minutes. Korver’s biggest shot of the night came just after the start of overtime, when he knocked a 3-pointer down off a LeBron pick-and-roll and gave the Cavs their first lead of the night at 108-105. Korver was very quiet in his final two games against the Pacers in the previous round.

Who Else Stepped Up in Game 1?

J.R. Smith also stepped up by hitting 6-of-11 shots and 5-of-6 3-pointers for 20 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. He is heating up, knocking down 11 3-pointers over his last three games after posting a goose egg against the Pacers in Game 3 last Wednesday. Smith started overtime with a steal and then backed up a Korver 3-pointer with one of his own, giving the Cavs a 113-107 lead.

The Cavs won despite a lousy game from Kevin Love. He hit just 3-of-13 shots and a 3-pointer for seven points, 13 rebounds, two assists and five fouls. Love’s left thumb (torn ligament) is clearly bothering him and he appeared to have trouble gripping the ball at times, but his 3-pointer came in the clutch and he had several key rebounds for the Cavs. He’s just 15-of-57 over his last five, good for just 26 percent.

Love is expected to start at center again in Game 2, according to coach Ty Lue. Jonas Valanciunas feasted when Love was on him, scoring 11 of his points on just 24 possessions in Game 1.  George Hill started in Game 1 as the Cavs went small against the Raptors but hit just 2-of-7 shots for four points and three assists in 28 minutes. Remains to be seen if Hill starts again. Probably.

Why Bet on Toronto’s NBA Odds?

Are the Raptors a safe bet vs. Cleveland in Game 2?

The Raptors had Game 1 in control early in the fourth quarter, but went on a five-minute scoring drought, missed their final 11 shots of the quarter, and couldn’t get it done in overtime. Toronto was just 3-for-16 inside 5 feet in the 4th quarter. That’s impossible. The Raptors scored 4 points off 6 Cavs turnovers while the Cavs scored 21 off 16 Raptors turnovers.

Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points, 21 rebounds and a block on 7-of-19 shooting. However, he missed three straight layups/putbacks, and at least a couple more, and shot 1-of-7 in the fourth quarter. He also fumbled a rebound late in overtime that eventually went off of teammate Serge Ibaka with the Raptors trailing by the final score, 113-112. It was JV’s second career playoff game with 20 points & 15 rebounds. There’s only 1 other such game in Raptors history (Chris Bosh in 2008).

Who Did DeRozan Do in Game 1?

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal and three blocks on 10-of-20 shooting in 40 minutes and missed all four of his 3-pointers. DeRozan took a hard, inadvertent Love elbow to the jaw in this one, but was able to stay on the court and finish the game. It might have deserved to be called a flagrant foul. Kyle Lowry hit 6-of-12 shots and three 3-pointers for 18 points, three rebounds, 10 assists and a steal but didn’t score in the fourth quarter.

Fred VanVleet’s right (shooting) shoulder was bothering him in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 1 and he sat on the bench for much of the fourth quarter, when the Raptors shot 5-of-24. He finished with nine points and a 3-pointer on 2-of-7 shooting in just 15 minutes. He returned late and missed a wide open 3-pointer that likely would have won the game for the Raptors, as there was less than a second remaining when the play was over. Then in overtime, the Raptors went back to FVV for another 3-point attempt with Jeff Green in his face and just 3.4 seconds on the clock. He missed that one too. VanVleet will play in Game 2.

Latest NBA Betting Trends

  • Cleveland is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
  • Cleveland is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Cleveland’s last 9 games
  • Toronto is 7-13-1 ATS in its last 21 games
  • Toronto is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto’s last 5 games at home

Expert NBA Betting Prediction

The Cavs stole Game 1. The know it and probably mail this one in knowing they got a split. Take Toronto.