SHOWDOWN IN TORONTO: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS vs. TORONTO RAPTORS
Sixth place in the playoff seedings could be on the line Thursday night in Toronto when the Raptors (40-32) host the Cavaliers (41-31).
Toronto has moved steadily up the Eastern Conference standings this month, while Cleveland, a surprising contender this season, appears to be faltering. The Cavs are coming off an ugly 11-point home loss to the struggling Lakers on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Raptors have faced a gauntlet of tough opposition the past two weeks, beating the Suns, Nuggets, Lakers, and Sixers. They lost to the conference-leading Bulls three nights ago.
Tip-off in Ontario is at 7:30 pm ET.
OPINION (courtesy of Pointspreads.ca):
Injuries could be the biggest factor as to who wins the Raptors-Cavs matchup.
Toronto will be without OG Anunoby (finger) and Gary Trent Jr. (big toe); both listed as doubtful while Fred VanVleet (knee) is expected to suit up, but could see limited court time. The Raptors will also be without Malachi Flynn due to a hamstring injury.
Early odds show the Raptors as a small favourite (check for updates at Spreads.ca).
Under the circumstances, we see Toronto being short-handed at the worst possible time here. So, we'll take the Cavaliers to both win and cover.