Can the Raptors Bounce Back in Game 2?

Kyle Lowry LeBron James Toronto Raptors Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers hammered the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals and barely broke a sweat in doing so. The Raps will have an opportunity to even things up when Game 2 gets underway in Ohio tonight.

Shark Bites
  • The Raptors are 10-0 SU and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after a loss.
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Raptors' last 12 games as an underdog of 12.0 or more.
  • The Cavaliers are 1-3 ATS in their last four games as a favorite of 12.0 or more.

Cleveland has yet to drop a game in the postseason after collecting nine straight victories. Toronto didn’t get much help from its best player Kyle Lowry in the series opener, as the point guard shot 4-of-14 from the field and spent the majority of the second half on the bench.

The Raptors would surely benefit from the return of star big man Jonas Valanciunas, but it’s looking like the Lithuanian will not return this week. Valanciunas injured his ankle in Game 3 of his team’s second round series with the Miami Heat and remains out indefinitely.

There was some concern that the Cavs would be rusty in Game 1 since they’re coming off back-to-back sweeps, but perhaps the extra rest has served them well. Cleveland played just eight games in the first 33 days of the playoffs, while the Raptors were stretched to 14.

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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.


Thunder are Becoming Road Warriors

Draymond Green Serge Ibaka Golden State Warriors Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are doing the unthinkable in this year’s playoffs. Fresh off a massive 108-102 Game 1 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals, the Thunder will be seeking to head back to Oklahoma with a 2-0 series lead when Game 2 gets underway on Wednesday.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Thunder's last four games as underdogs.
  • The visiting team is 1-7-1 ATS in its last nine games in this matchup.
  • The Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last six games after winning as an underdog.

After knocking off the San Antonio Spurs in the second round, OKC continues to come up huge on the road. In the regular season, the Spurs and Warriors combined for a 79-3 home record. So far in the postseason, they’re 1-3 at home against the Thunder. That’s pretty damn impressive.

The Thunder franchise hasn’t won four straight away from home in the playoffs since the 1995-96 Seattle SuperSonics did so in an NBA Finals appearance. Overall, Oklahoma City is 5-1 on the road in this year’s playoffs.

Normally the Warriors play their best when the game is on the line, but that wasn’t the case in the series opener. The dynamic backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson missed nine of 10 shots in the final period in which Golden State went 6-for-23 from the field.

Bouncing back after a loss has become commonplace for the Dubs. In Golden State's last 12 games coming off a loss, they're a perfect 12-0 SU.

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Cavs and Raptors are Strikingly Similar

DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors JR Smith Cleveland Cavaliers

Maybe it's the LeBron James effect, but a large number of pundits and fans across the NBA have already written off the Toronto Raptors before the Eastern Conference finals have even begun.

The Cavs entered the postseason as the No. 1 team in the East with a 57-28 record, and the Raptors weren't far off at 56-28. At BetOnline the Cavaliers have a staggeringly high series price of -1500, with Toronto coming in as a +950 long shot. The wine and gold were 11-point favorites in Game 1 as of Tuesday afternoon.


2016 NBA Draft Lottery Odds

NBA Draft Lottery

The NBA Draft, a.k.a. the Philadelphia 76ers’ Super Bowl, is set to get underway on June 23, and hoops fans that cheer for underperforming teams are gearing up for the affair. But before we get there, the all-important draft lottery takes place on May 17.

Last year, the Minnesota Timberwolves became the first team since 2004 to win the draft lottery while having the best odds to do so (25 percent). Since the weighted lottery system was introduced in 1990, only four teams with the worst record went on to win while only four squads with the second-worst record have won.


Tuesday’s Ref Crew Very Raptors Friendly

Sean Corbin NBA Playoffs

The Toronto Raptors are about to make history when they take floor in the franchise’s first ever Eastern Conference finals game Tuesday night. Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers are heavy favorites in series prices (-1200) and even get the double-digit fave treatment in the series opener, but the Raps might have a bit of an advantage with the officiating crew that is slated to work Game 1.


Raptors-Cavaliers are Cashing OVER Bets

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors have proven they’re the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference, and now they’ll battle it out for the right to represent the East in the NBA Finals. Game 1 tips off Tuesday evening in Ohio.

Shark Bites
  • The Raptors are 2-6 SU and ATS in their last eight games as an underdog of 10.0 or less.
  • The Cavaliers are 4-0 SU in their last four games at home.
  • The Raptors are 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five games on the road.

Cleveland has yet to lose in the postseason after dispatching Detroit and Atlanta in dominating fashion, while the Raptors have been on the brink of elimination twice but outlasted Indiana and Miami to get this far.

LeBron James has been dismantling opposing defenses in the playoffs, averaging 23.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists. Unlike last year when Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving caught the injury bug, James is not alone this time around. That means Toronto should rightfully be worried about the Cavs’ healthy big three.

When the Cavs and Raps collide, high-scoring affairs are the story. The OVER is 4-1 in the last five matchups between the clubs.

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How Will Extra Rest Impact Cavs vs Raps?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are undoubtedly playing their best basketball of the season, and this is the best the team has meshed since LeBron James returned to Cleveland. After having their way with the Pistons and sweeping the Hawks for the second year in a row, the Cavaliers became the eighth team in the last 25 years to sweep their first and second round opponent in the same year.

Here’s a look at how those teams finished out the playoffs:


Upset? Gimme Raps, Not Thunder

The NBA conference finals odds are just silly right now. The favorites are favored by such huge numbers it suggests these two remaining series are mere formalities. 

That’s especially true for the Cleveland Cavaliers-Toronto Raptors series where the Cavs are favored by a ridiculous price of -1500 over the Raptors. The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, are favored at -450 over the OKC Thunder. 


Thunder-Warriors Series Props

Stephen Curry Enes Kanter

With all due respect to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors-Oklahoma City Thunder Western Conference finals series is the most exciting matchup of the 2016 NBA playoffs. If you’re looking for alternative betting options, you’ve come to the right place.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released a number of props for the heavyweight battle, ranging from total games played, series correct score and where the series will be decided.



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