It’s a chalk bottom half of the playoff bracket in the NBA’s Eastern Conference as No. 2 seed Toronto, in the second round for just the second time in franchise history, faces No. 3 Miami. Game 1 is Tuesday night in Canada. The Raptors are -160 on the sportsbook odds to win the series and the Heat are +140. It’s the first-ever playoff meeting between the teams.
Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors NBA Playoffs Odds Game 1 & TV Info
When: Tuesday, May 3, 8 PM ET
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
NBA Odds: Raptors -4.5 (191)
Heat at Raptors Historic Betting Trends
Miami trailed No. 6 Charlotte 3-2 in their first-round series. But the Heat won 97-90 in Charlotte on Friday and then finished it off with a 106-73 home blowout on Sunday. Goran Dragic scored 25 points in his first Game 7, and Gerald Green added 16. Miami outrebounded Charlotte 17-7 in the first and out-scored them 16-6 in the paint to help the Heat take an 11-point, 29-18, lead after one.
Dragic scored nine points in the second as the Heat shot 50 percent from the field to take a 12-point, 54-42, lead into the half. Miami’s defense held the Hornets to just 11 points and 20.8 percent from the field as they outscored them by 18 in the quarter, 29-11, pushing their advantage to 30, 83-53, heading into the final frame. Four Heat starters didn’t play in the fourth.
The 33-point victory marked as the fifth-highest margin of victory in a Game 7 in NBA history and tied Miami’s third-largest overall victory in team postseason history. Luol Deng scored 15, Dwyane Wade finished with 12 and Hassan Whiteside had a 10-point, 12-rebound, five-block clincher for the Heat, who have won their last four Game 7s. Wade has now played in 29 postseason series; the Heat have won 22 of them. And under Coach Erik Spoelstra, the Heat are now 15-4 in postseason series, 8-4 when facing elimination games and 15-5 in games when they have a chance to oust an opponent. The Heat have won at least one game on the road in 17 consecutive playoff series, the longest such streak in NBA history.
Wade has blocked 160 shots in his playoff career, surpassing Michael Jordan (158) for the most blocks by a guard in NBA postseason history. Miami has currently won 10 straight playoff games when scoring 100+ points.
Toronto won a Game 7 for the first time in team history, 89-84 over No. 7 Indiana on Sunday. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 30 points. He attempted a team playoff-record 32 shots, making 10, and was a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line. DeRozan became the team’s all-time leader for 30-point games in the playoffs – DeRozan (5), Vince Carter (4), Chris Bosh, Antonio Davis and Kyle Lowry.
The Raptors won their first postseason series since a five-game triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001, ending the NBA’s longest active drought between series victories.
Toronto won the regular-season series 3-1 vs. Miami. Entering this series, the Raptors have won five of the last six regular season games against Miami, but prior to that, the Heat had won 16 straight in the series.
Expert Betting Prediction
Toronto is 1-8 in Game 1 of a playoff series. The Raptors only Game 1 win was May 6, 2001 in the opening game of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinal series vs. Philadelphia. I say those struggles continue here with a Heat win — like Miami in seven for the series.