Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
|Date & Time||Saturday April 27, 2019, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Toronto -6 -- Over/Under 223
The Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers collide in Game 1 at the Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night.
The Philadelphia 76ers are coming into this feeling pretty good after making light work of the Nets in five games in the first round. Joel Embiid played just four of those games and led the team with averages of 24.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 blocks per game, Tobias Harris is averaging 17.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, Ben Simmons is averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists while Jimmy Butler averaged 15.8 points and 4.6 assists. The 76ers were a bit slow out of the gates as they dropped the series opener at home to the Nets, but they regrouped to win three of the next four by double-digits despite Embiid sitting out a game.
Meanwhile, it was a very similar situation for the Toronto Raptors who also reeled off four straight wins after dropping the series opener at home to the Magic in the first round. Kawhi Leonard led the team with averages of 27.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, Pascal Siakam was fantastic as he averaged 22.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists while Kyle Lowry averaged 11.4 points and 8.6 assists during the series despite going scoreless in Game 1. The Raptors will be looking to go all the way this season after three straight playoff exits at the hands of LeBron James’ Cavaliers and they’ll want to go deep at the very least to help convince Leonard to stay with them next season.
Looking at the betting trends, the 76ers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record, 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference Semifinals games and 0-4 ATS in their last four games playing on three or more days rest. The Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games, 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight Conference Semifinals games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
Head to head, the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings, the 76ers are 4-13 ATS in the last 17 meetings overall and the 76ers are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings in Toronto.
The Raptors won three of the four regular season meetings against the 76ers and Kawhi Leonard didn’t suit up in the lone loss, so they will be full of confidence here. However, these two squads have yet to play each other since the 76ers acquired Tobias Harris, so there’s hope for the underdog 76ers as long as Joel Embiid’s knees hold up. The 76ers arguably have the best starting roster in the Eastern Conference, but the Raptors are a well-oiled machine and hold the edge in the second unit. The Raptors have won 13 straight at home against the 76ers and interestingly, Leonard has never lost to the 76ers. This one could go either way, but the Raptors have been tough to beat at home all season and I think they draw first blood in this series.