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Raps Bettors Shouldn't Fret Game 1 Loss

Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry

If you backed the Toronto Raptors’ series price prior to the start of the Eastern Conference finals, chances are you’re thinking it may have been better to set your money on fire after Game 1’s 115-84 rout at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers. But before you panic, keep this in mind: losing Game 1 is commonplace for Canada’s lone NBA club.

Including Tuesday’s contest, the Raptors are now 1-10 in franchise history in the opening game of a playoff series. That hasn’t stopped the Dinos so far this year, however, as Toronto dropped Game 1 against Indiana and Miami before triumphing in seven games. So far in the 2016 NBA playoffs, teams winning the first tilt have advanced to the next round eight times in 12 attempts.

The Raps, who are making their first conference finals appearance, are just the fourth team in NBA history to lose Game 1 in three consecutive playoff series in the same year. For some reason, Toronto never likes making things easy on themselves. This squad has a tendency of showing up when they absolutely have to.

If the first affair is any indication, the Raptors have a mountain to climb in order to overtake the Cavs. Cleveland became the fifth team ever to start the playoffs 9-0 or better (the record for most consecutive postseason wins out of the gate is 11). LeBron James and Kyrie Irving picked apart a sagging Raptors’ defense that was clearly overmatched. In other words, it was the men against the boys.

At Bovada, the Cavs’ series price jumped all the way from -1200 to -5000 in light of the victory. The book adjusted Toronto’s odds to +1600 after opening them as +650 underdogs.

It’s going to take a small miracle for the Raptors to advance to the NBA Finals, but bettors shouldn’t lose complete faith just yet. Early series disappointment is the norm for a franchise that’s had no shortage of failures in its 21-year existence.

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