Kyle Lowry and the second-seeded Toronto Raptors will look to continue their regular season dominance over Paul George and the Indiana pacers when they two NBA Championship odds hopefuls square off in their first round Eastern Conference playoff series showdown, starting this coming weekend. The NBA will announce specific dates and times upon the conclusion f the regular season tonight.
Raptors vs. Pacers NBA Playoff Series Lines Report
No. 2 Toronto Raptors (55-26 SU, 44-37 ATS, 42-38-1 O/U)
The Raptors ranked 13th in scoring (102.7 ppg) and 15th in field goal shooting percentage (45.1 %) while also ranking a stellar fourth in three-point shooting percentage (37.0 %), 12th in free throw shooting percentage (77.9 %) and 18th in rebounding (43.2 rpg).
Defensively, Toronto ranked a stupendous fourth in points allowed (98.2 ppg) while also finishing 12th in defensive field goal percentage (44.4 %), 29th in three-point defense (37.3 %), and fourth in defensive rebounding (40.8 rpg). Toronto won the Atlantic Division and has won six of their last eight games at the time of this writing. Not only that, but Toronto will have plenty of motivation after getting prematurely knocked out of the playoffs last season.
No. 7 Indiana Pacers (44-37 SU, 40-40-1 ATS, 37-44 O/U)
The Pacers ranked 16th in scoring (102.2 ppg) and an identical 16th in field goal shooting percentage (45.0 %) while also ranking 16th in three-point shooting percentage (35.0 %), 15th in free throw shooting percentage (76.4 %) and 12th in rebounding (44.2 rpg).
Defensively, Indiana ranked an impressive eighth in points allowed (100.6 ppg) while also finishing sixth in defensive field goal percentage (44.0 %), a stellar third in three-point defense (33.4 %), and 20th in defensive rebounding (44.5 rpg). The Pacers finished second to Cleveland in the Central Division and has won five of their last six games, including a thrilling home win over LeBron James and the top-seeded Cavaliers at the end of March.
Series Analysis and Expert Pick
Toronto won regular season series 3-1 while covering the NBA betting line in each victory. The Raptors took Game 1 106-99 in overtime despite blowing a solid lead heading into the forth quarter. The Pacers jumped all over the Raptors in their second meeting, getting out to a 26-5 lead they would never relinquish en route to a commanding 106-90 blowout victory. Veteran shooting guard Monta Ellis missed a pair of free throws in overtime in the teams’ third meeting as the Pacers wilted at the worst time possible en route to a 101-94 loss. In their last meeting, Toronto jumped all over Indy en route to a commanding 111-98 win last Friday.
Clearly, this doesn’t bode well for a Pacers team that simply doesn’t have enough consistent offensive scorers to beat a more cohesive and determined Raptors team that looks intent on reaching the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least. While Indiana has five players that all average double digits in scoring, Paul George (23.1 ppg) is Indiana’s only 20-point per game scorer and that plays perfectly into Toronto’s outstanding defense.
Conversely, the Raptors have a pair of players that both average over 20 points per game in shooting guard DeMar DeRozan (23.5 ppg) and Kyle Lowry (21.2 ppg). The Raptors also have two very competent big men (they need to use more) in Jonas Valanciunas and Bismack Biyombo and a bunch of solid role players in guards Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross and forwards Luis Scola, DeMarre Carroll and Patrick Patterson.
Toronto has the edge in this series no matter where they play. The Raptors went 32-9 at home this season and recorded a winning 23-17 record on the road. While Indiana did manage to go 26-15 at home this season, they were an unimpressive 18-22 on the road and that means, if nothing else, all Toronto has to do is win all four of their home games.
The Raptors are the easy pick to dispatch the Indiana Pacers, in six games at most and likely, five!