Toronto faces another elimination threat in Game 5 tonight in Philadelphia
Raptors shorthanded in "must win" situation – VanVleet Out with Injury
First, let's get something out of the way.
We've been dead wrong about everything, so far, in this Raptors-Sixers series.
Wrong, wrong, wrong....
We recommended Toronto to win the series at +150. Down 3 games to 1, that bet is on life support. We also recommended wagering on the Raptors in either of the first two games, and of course, they lost both by a combined 35-points. Then, in Game 4, we had given up on Toronto, thinking the team was deflated after a heartbreaking Game 3 overtime loss. Once again, we blew it. The Raptors won and covered. So, we're drawing blanks in this series.
It's hard to predict what will happen tonight in Game 5, scheduled for a 8:00 pm EDT tip off in Philadelphia.
Here's the latest odds at SPREADS.CA:
Joel Embiid report
The Sixers will want to do everything they can to close out the pesky Raptors in this series. Joel Embiid now officially has a torn ligament in his right thumb. Philadelphia will want to take care of business back at home on Monday night to end this series out and give Embiid as much rest as possible before Round 2.
Fred VanVleet report
Meanwhile, the Raptors are slated to be shorthanded for their Game 5 matchup since Fred VanVleet revealed Monday morning that he won't play due to a left hip flexor injury that he suffered in the team's 110-102 win in Game 4 on Saturday. VanVleet's status for a potential Game 6 and beyond is a "day-by-day" process.
As for making a pick, the Sixers are back at home where they completely dominated this series in the first two games. Tyrese Maxey and James Harden were really tough to stop in this one in the first two games and they should be fired up to close it out at home. Embiid will give it a go, but the Sixers should be focused on making sure he gets enough help and get him some rest before the East semifinals begin.
Let's be clear -- the Raptors are desperate and will fight to the end with their season on the line. They will give Philadelphia some problems, but in the end, the Sixers should close this one out
We predict a Philadelphia win and a Toronto cover (+8).