Down 0-3 to the Sixers, the Raptors Need to Win Saturday Afternoon to Stay Alive
So far, this Round 1 playoff series has been a complete mismatch. The Philadelphia 76ers have thoroughly dominated the Toronto Raptors in every facet of the game.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. Toronto was considered a dark horse in the East and looked to be a serious threat to upset Philadelphia at +150 odds to win the opening playoff series.
But now, the Raptors are stuck in a deep hole, down 3 games to none.
Not only is Saturday afternoon's contest a "must-win," the Raptors must somehow win 4 straight. Obviously, there's justification for pessimism about this happening. Toronto's season could be over this weekend.
The Sixers won't be taking the Raptors lightly:
“It’s the playoffs,” said coach Doc Rivers. “You gotta' expect the other team’s best. You really do. You gotta' expect them to make the play and then you gotta' win anyway. That’s gotta' be our mindset.”
Tip-off in Toronto is early -- don't forget the 2:00 pm EDT starting time.
Here's a look at the odds on this game at SPREADS.CA:
OPINION (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Historically, big road favorites closing out series are strong bets. Road favourites of 4.5 points or more in a series closeout scenario are 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS over the past ten seasons.
However, the Sixers don't quite meet these criteria being favoured by just -3. So, we must dismiss this angle.
Nonetheless, it's hard to find a compelling reason to bet on Toronto right now, even as a home underdog. The way Philadelphia has clamped down on Toronto with great defence isn't going to evaporate. In fact, we think that a heartbreaking Game 3 loss will carry over here. Blowing a 16-point lead in a huge playoff game is a sure sign of internal problems, Hence, we think the Sixers will close out the opening series with a road win and cover.
The bottom line is this: It was a fun season to be a Raptors fan, but this team remains a few pieces away from returning to championship contention.