AmericanBettingExperts newest basketball tipster, Shane Godwin, previews the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers Series and provides his free pick for Game 1 on Saturday.
Register an account at SugarHouse to receive a $250 Free Bet on the NBA PlayOffs.
On Saturday afternoon the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers open up the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs. And while the Western Conference is enjoying a competitive 1st round, the same cannot be said about the East. After Toronto and Philly both coughed up their first games, the top seeds in the East have gone 15-1 ATS. Tighter competition typically results in sharper lines, but this series features two new-ish-rosters who are still very much learning who they are; which means, so are we and so are the oddsmakers.
The Raptors finished 4th in the NBA in Points Efficiency Differential (DIFF) at +6.1. DIFF calculates the difference in points scored and points allowed over a per-100-possession basis. This metric is typically the best way to account for the difference in pace of play you see in the NBA. The Sixers, on the other hand, are 11th at +2.6. This disparency is on par with that of a team fighting for the last playoff spot, and one hoping for the top pick on draft night. Since adding Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin at the trade deadline, The Raptors have gone 19-7 all while giving much needed rest to stars Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.
This 76ers side has overhauled their roster not once, but TWICE this year. After trading 2 starters in Robert Covington and Dario Saric for all star Jimmy Butler, the Sixers made another move to acquire Tobias Harris from the LA Clippers. The Sixers failed to hit their season wins O/U at 52.5 – going 4-6 in their final 10. However, much of this can be attributed to injury/player rest as their starting lineup of Simmons, Reddick, Butler, Harris, Embiid has won 12/14 games they have played together.
Are the 76ers the THE TEAM that turns it on? Putting talent and scheme together to make a legitimate finals run? Maybe, but not tomorrow. Speaking of Leonard, the 76ers have never beaten him in a game of professional basketball (0-10). If you can find it, I like value of 76ers at +200 to win the series… BUT Toronto is the GAME 1 play at -5.5.
PICK: Toronto Raptors -5.5 Points at Draftkings
In the first 24 hours the spread has moved to Toronto +6. 6/6.5 does not scare me. Keep an eye on that series line to move in Toronto’s direction when public bets come in, but I’m hard pressed to think GAME 1 in Toronto will be the clicking point for the Sixers. Take “The North!” and lay the points.
Odds taken from DRAFT KINGS – They offer the series bet. New customers opening an account can also claim a $500 Free Bet
PICK: Philadelphia 76ers to win the Series @ + 200