Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) vs Toronto Raptors (59-23)Date : 05/01/2018
Time : 8:00 PM
Location : Air Canada Centre
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors
The 1 seed Toronto Raptors look to host game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals as they will take on the 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers. Toronto was brought to 6 games by the Washington Wizards before they were able to win the series. The Cleveland Cavaliers were tested to the edge as they went to 7 games against the Indiana Pacers. This is a rematch of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals where Cleveland swept Toronto is 4 games.
Cleveland Cavaliers's Latest Performance :
LeBron Isn’t Done
The Cleveland Cavaliers were on the verge of being taken out of the first round in 5 games as they couldn’t figure out how to play together, and although they still haven’t found chemistry LeBron James has taken over the team and has told everyone to step aside. LeBron James knew his legacy in terms of being the best player ever was in jeopardy if the Cavaliers lost to the Pacers in the first round, so LeBron went on a tear and had back-to-back 40+ points games. LeBron led the Cavaliers in almost every major statistical category (34.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 1.2 BPG), but that is what the Cavaliers cannot have if they want a shot at making a trip back to the NBA Finals. LeBron received 0 help from his fellow teammates in the first round as Kevin Love was the only other double-figure scorer as he averaged 11.4 PPG, but even that is not good enough as Kevin Love averaged 17.6 in the regular season. The Cavaliers have struggled to find a consistent lineup to put beside LeBron as Jose Calderon and Geroge Hill have both been fighting for the starting PG spot, and Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance have both been in and out of the lineup as the starting center. The Cavaliers need to find more offense out of some of their solid bench guys such as Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson as the duo only combined for 10.7 PPG.
Toronto Raptors's Latest Performance :
Big Games Disburses From Anyone
Here it is the series that all Toronto fans are biting their fingers about as the Raptors have not had success against the LeBron Cavaliers as of recent, but the buzz should be different in the city north of the border as this Raptors team is as good as it has ever been. The thing that makes this Raptors team so good is their ability to find a big game out of anyone in the starting lineup, or from the bench. The Raptors were led all season by their 4x all-star in DeMar DeRozan and he picked up where he left off in the playoffs as he led the team with 26.7 PPG. The Raptors may only have 3 starters that average in double figures but they receive production from everyone as they have a 10-man rotation that all averages over 5 PPG. The Raptors have 2 x-factors in my opinion and that is C.J. Miles and Serge Ibaka as when these 2 guys had big games in the first round we saw a big Raptors win, but when these guys found themselves in single digits in terms of points they were either losing or squeezing out wins. Delon Wright has stepped up his game big off the bench as he averaged 10.7 PPG, and his defense was unmatched as he led the Raptors in steals with 2.3 per game. The Raptors bench has a chance to win this series single handily as the Cavaliers struggle to find a consistent rotation that meshes well.
How Cleveland Cavaliers & Toronto Raptors Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Cleveland is 32-56-1 ATS, 19-25 ATS on the road.
Toronto is 47-40-1 ATS, 24-19-1 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Toronto ended the first round as the 4th ranked scoring offense and outscored the last ranked Cavaliers offense by 16 PPG. (CLE- 93.2 PPG, TOR- 109.2 PPG)
Cleveland ended the first round as the 3rd ranked scoring defense as they held their opponent to 6.5 PPG less than Toronto’s 11th ranked defense. (CLE- 100.5 PPG, TOR- 107.2 PPG).
Cleveland won the season series, 2-1.
Against The Spread Selection: Toronto Raptors -6
My reason for the pick :
The Toronto Raptors have been waiting for this rematch as they know they were better than their end result, and the Raptors fans know what this series means to this franchise in terms of elevating them to one of the elite. Cleveland is exhausted after going to 7 games especially their only player in LeBron James as he has sat to tie his shoes in the first round. Toronto’s backcourt is too much for whoever the Cavaliers decide to throw on the court. Toronto wins convincingly.
Betting trends for Cleveland Cavaliers:
- Cleveland is 11-5 ATS as the road underdog this season.
- The under was 5-2 in the first round.
Betting trends for Toronto Raptors:
- Toronto is 33-24-1 ATS against Eastern Conference opponents this season.
- The under is 38-33-2 as the favorite this season.