Cavs are NBA Lines Favorite vs. Raptors in Game 3
The Toronto Raptors were the Eastern Conference’s top seed and had the best season in franchise history. The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t give a s**t. They own the Raptors in the postseason and shockingly lead this Eastern Conference semifinal 2-0 as it shifts to Cleveland on Saturday. The NBA lines finally favor the Cavs in this series.
2018 Playoffs: Raptors at Cavaliers NBA Lines & Game 3 Info
When: Saturday, 8:30 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Radio: 1050 AM (Toronto) / 1100 AM (Cleveland)
NBA Lines: Cavs -4.5 (217)
Why Bet on Toronto?
I probably wouldn’t. The Raptors just don’t match up well with Cleveland and have now lost eight straight playoff games to the Cavs. They also lost both there in the regular season and have just 17 all-tie regular-season wins in the Land.
While the Raptors probably should have won Game 1, they imploded in the second half of Game 2 and were blown out 128-110 at home. In NBA history, there have been 26 teams to win the first two games on the road in a seven-game series, and 22 of them have gone on to win the series. This is the East’s top seed!
The Raptors shot 60 percent in the first half and had a two-point lead in Game 2. Kyle Lowry was solid with 21 points, four rebounds, eight assists, four turnovers and three 3-pointer. He had some foul trouble early in the third quarter, but coach Dwane Casey kept Lowry in there. Fellow All-Star DeMar DeRozan had a good game with 24 points on 11-of-23 from the field. Those two just got little help and defensively the Raptors couldn’t slow LeBron James or Kevin Love.
What Did DeRozan Say About Game 2?
“It’s a team effort,” DeRozan said. “Can’t just rely on one guy guarding a player like Kevin Love. We all have to be locked in and pull strings together defensively. Figure out how we can help and make things tougher on K-Love when he’s down there posting up. Just show bodies. It’s a team thing and not just one guy, it’s all of us.”
Serge Ibaka was a no-show during the loss, scoring two points with six rebounds and one assist in 12 minutes. He was yanked from the game in the second half with less than two minutes off the clock in the third quarter. Ibaka has been late on everything for defense and he missed all five from the field. Coach Dwane Casey might have to replace Ibaka in the starting lineup.
“I was just so disappointed in myself in that moment,” said Ibaka after the game. “It’s one of those moments where you start thinking I just wish I can be out there playing my best game I can, like I’ve always done, to help my team. It just sucks, man. It sucks.”
Why Bet on Cleveland?
LeBron James’ teams have a 21-0 series record with a 2-0 lead. The Raptors are 0-6 in series they trail 2-0. So, yeah, this series is over.
The Cavs might have played their best game of the year in Game 2. They posted an offensive efficiency of 138.9, which is their best in any game, regular season or playoffs, with only three turnovers. DeRozan, along with CJ Miles, was one of the pair of defenders that Kevin Love exploited the most en route to 31 points after Love scored only seven points in Game 1.
Love added 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. His 31 points were more than he had in his previous three games combined (28), and he went to the line seven times after not going there at all in the previous three games. Coach Ty Lue wanted Love out there to space the floor even though Love didn’t want to play center. It worked out.
“He sees something out there in me at the 5 spot, and I guess, especially on the offensive end when I have my game going, he wants me to take full advantage of that,” Love said of playing center over power forward. He scored nine of his points in the third quarter on 4-for-5 shooting when Cleveland blew the game open with a 37-24 run.
What About Lebron?
James, meanwhile, was simply amazing. He scored 43 points and tied his playoff career high with 14 assists. He made seven fadeaways, burning Raptors defenders Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby repeatedly. It was tied for the most fadeaways in a playoff game in the past 15 years. The Raptors contested 26 of James’ 28 shots overall, but he made 17 of them. It added up to the fourth 40-point game James has had in this postseason, which ties his career high for such games in the playoffs. He had four in 2009.
Thursday was LeBron’s 226th career playoff game. He scored or assisted on 77 points, the most in his playoff career. James has led Cavs in points and assists in 10 straight playoff games. That is tied with Oscar Robertson for the longest such streak in postseason history. It was James’ fourth playoff game with at least 40 points and 10 assists. That’s an NBA record.
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- Raptors are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on 1 day of rest.
- Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Raptors are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games.
- Raptors are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Cavaliers are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 Conference Semifinals games.
- Raptors are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings in Cleveland.
Expert NBA Betting Prediction
I’m sure the Raptors will make some lineup adjustments, but unless LeBron gets injured the Cavs win and cover the NBA lines again.