Toronto (1-1) at Philadelphia (1-1)
When: Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
Where: Wells Fargo Center,
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -1.5/216
How does the saying go – a series doesn’t start until a team wins a road game? Well, that’s exactly what the Philadelphia 76ers did on Monday when they evened-up their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Toronto Raptors despite star center Joel Embiid playing a little bit under the weather. The third-seeded Sixers used solid defense to grind out a 94-89 win in Game 2, but could be short-handed once again. Forward Mike Scott, who has been out with a heel contusion and plantar fasciitis, did practice on Wednesday, while Embiid also continues to be hampered by a sore left knee, though he remains probable. Philadelphia’s defense was shaky in Game 1 and terrific in Game 2 as they held the Raptors to 36.7 percent shooting, including 27 percent from beyond the arc (10-of-37). Jimmy Butler recorded 30 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in Game 2 to help the 76ers snap a 14-game losing streak in Toronto. “Everybody wants to paint a picture that we haven’t won here in however many years”, Butler said after the game. “I’m just glad that we came out on top. Going home, we just need to do the same thing we did tonight.” Philly’s bench came up big on Monday with James Ennis scoring a playoff career-high 13 points while Greg Monroe backed up Embiid with 10 points and five rebounds. Kawhi Leonard led the second-seeded Raptors with 35 points and Pascal Siakam added 21 but the bench was mostly ineffective in Game 2. The teams split the two games at Wells Fargo Center during the regular season with each team winning by double-digits.
Toronto’s bench combined for just five points on 2-of-11 shooting in Game 2 and coach Nick Nurse said he might switch things up. “We’re always thinking about possible adjustments to it or changes or whatever and this will certainly give us cause to reflect on that for sure,” Nurse told reporters. Reserve forward Norman Powell has scored just three points in the first two games, Serge Ibaka is shooting 4-of-14 and has committed nine fouls, while point guard Fred VanVleet failed to score in Game 2. Ibaka, who had just two points in Game 2, averaged 15 points while starting 51 of 74 games played in the regular season. The Raptors have allowed fewer than 100 points in six straight playoff games.
Philadelphia’s defense set the tone for its Game 2 victory by holding Toronto to 17 first-quarter points and it maintained that intensity for most of the game. Embiid was able to contribute 12 points in 32 minutes despite diminished health. Philadelphia will need to get more from forward Tobias Harris, who is averaging just 11.5 points in the series but does have 26 rebounds in the two games. The Sixers have won nine of their last 11 at home dating back to the regular season.
Philly set the tone in Game 2 and I can see more of the same now at Wells Fargo Center. Embiid is still a force even when not 100 percent. The Sixers are terrific at home, going 33-11 this season including the postseason and should be able to seize control of this series.
Pick: 76ers +1
Raptors are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Raptors are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games.
Raptors are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
Raptors are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
Raptors are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 vs. Eastern Conference.
Raptors are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Raptors are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Raptors are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 Conference Semifinals games.
76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
76ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Atlantic.
76ers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.
76ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
76ers are 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
76ers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Conference Semifinals games.
Under is 4-0-1 in Raptors last 5 road games.
Under is 4-0-1 in Raptors last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Under is 5-0 in Raptors last 5 Thursday games.
Under is 4-0 in Raptors last 4 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Under is 7-1 in Raptors last 8 overall.
Under is 6-1 in Raptors last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 6-1 in Raptors last 7 vs. Eastern Conference.
Under is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 4-1 in Raptors last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 3-1-1 in Raptors last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
Over is 9-4-1 in Raptors last 14 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Over is 9-4 in Raptors last 13 Conference Semifinals games.
Under is 4-0 in 76ers last 4 overall.
Under is 4-0 in 76ers last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
Under is 4-0 in 76ers last 4 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Under is 6-1 in 76ers last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Under is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 games following a straight up win.
Under is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 games following a ATS win.
Under is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
Under is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 12-4 in 76ers last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 6-2 in 76ers last 8 home games.
Over is 5-2 in 76ers last 7 games playing on 2 days rest.
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Philadelphia.
Home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
Raptors are 14-5 ATS in the last 19 meetings.
Favorite is 21-8 ATS in the last 29 meetings.
Raptors are 27-12-2 ATS in the last 41 meetings in Philadelphia.