Sports

76ers vs Raptors Game 6 Picks and Predictions: Toronto Covers Spread In Front Of Fans

Article content

The ghosts of Doc Rivers’ past are haunting the halls of Scotiabank Arena, where his Philadelphia 76ers face the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their opening round NBA playoff series Thursday.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The 76ers have let a 3-0 series advantage dissolve with back-to-back losses to Toronto, recalling the three times Rivers has let his teams waste a 3-1 series stranglehold. Those evil spirits are having their way with the odds for Game 6, with the Raps as short as 1.5-point underdogs after getting as many as 8.5 points at Philadelphia in Game 5.

Article content

Check out our free NBA betting picks and predictions for 76ers at Raptors on April 28.

76ers vs Raptors odds

Toronto opened as a 1.5-point home pup and jumped between +1 and +2 depending on the book. The status of All-Star guard Fred VanVleet doesn’t look good, with the team listing him as doubtful after sitting out the Game 5 win. The total for Thursday opened at 209.5 points and outside of some movement with the vig, that number is staying put as of Wednesday afternoon.

Advertisement 3

Article content

76ers vs Raptors predictions

Predictions made on 4/27/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

76ers vs Raptors game info

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBCS-Philadelphia, TSN4

76ers vs Raptors series odds

76ers: -800.
Raptors: +550.

76ers vs Raptors betting preview

Key injuries

76ers: Matisse Thybulle F (Out), Charles Bassey C (Questionable).
Raptors: Fred VanVleet G (Doubtful).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Toronto is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 home games versus Philadelphia. Find more NBA betting trends for 76ers vs. Raptors.

Advertisement 4

Article content

76ers vs Raptors picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favourite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Holy hell, things in Philadelphia spoiled quicker than leaving the milk out in the middle of August. On top of all the mud being flung at Rivers for his past collapses, the Philly media is going for the throat with talking heads even claiming a tank job from James Harden in order to show Rivers the door.

But let’s all take a breath and relax for a second. Heading into the series, most folks were calling for a Raptors upset after Toronto had its way with the Sixers during the regular season. And given how tight the series odds were to tip off, it shouldn’t be too surprising we’re heading into Game 6.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Sure, we took a different route than expected to get to six games, choosing the off-ramp to crazy town. Rather than a back-and-forth battle, we saw a massive anomaly self correct over the course of a week and now bettors are baffled by the swing in odds between Game 5 and 6.

In true Dr. Strange fashion, the NBA multiverse could have played out very differently in this series, but we’d always end up at this absolute point: A tight spread for Game 6 in Toronto. Yeesh, imagine the horror of living in a reality where the 76ers swept the Raptors in four straight games… ewww.

This current line has a couple of things baked into it: 1. Momentum and media hoopla. 2. No Matisse Thybulle. And 3. No Fred VanVleet.

But as Toronto showed in the past two games, it doesn’t need the All-Star guard to win and did just fine cracking Philly’s defence with its top defender on the floor. VanVleet certainly helps, especially from the 3-point arc, but the Raps have plugged that gap in the rotation with their abundance of long, athletic tweeners who are giving the Sixers fits on both ends of the floor.

Advertisement 6

Article content

It’s a constant stream of lanky 6-foot-7 guys with quick feet who thrive on energy, and they’re simply beating Philadelphia to the punch in every aspect. The Raps held Philly to 38% shooting on its own floor in Game 5 while scoring at a 51% clip, won the rebound war, blocked six shots, and forced 15 turnovers. Those errors translated into 20 easy points for a Toronto offence that shouldn’t be outperforming the 76ers’ star-studded lineup.

The one guy that could put an end to all of this is Harden — the ultimate X-factor in this series. The 76ers attack was fast and furious behind the beard’s peppy efforts in the opening two games, with Harden making shots and creating scoring chances. Since Game 4, however, Harden looks gassed and bothered by the bigger checks Toronto keeps throwing at him, posting as many made shots (9-for-28) as he has turnovers in that span.

Advertisement 7

Article content

Now that the universe has corrected itself, we’re letting go of those first three losses and leaning into a team doing all it can to win games playing at home with a handful of points to boot.

Prediction: Raptors +2 (-115 at PointsBet)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

The Raptors’ long defenders have been plaguing the Sixers offense the past three games, checking Philly to just 43.8% shooting from the field. That size and versatility also allows Toronto to close the space on the perimeter quickly, which has left Philadelphia to fire up a 33% success rate from beyond the arc in the previous two outings.

Advertisement 8

Article content

Part of the problem for the 76ers is that Toronto is scoring at will inside and forcing the offence to start stale from the inbound on the bulk of possessions. The Raptors scored 42 points in the paint in Game 4 and 56 from the key in Game 5, which really makes it hard to spark any energy and beat the defence down the floor.

As for the Raps, VanVleet’s absence takes away the team’s one true long-range threat and that showed in the past two contests. Toronto is just 16-for-65 from distance in that span (24%), taking away one of the franchise’s favourite scoring methods: Transition 3-pointers.

It may seem obvious but the 76ers should take a step off the 3-point line, pack the inside, cheat on weak side help, and put a padlock on the paint — begging the Raps to beat them from beyond the arc. If anything, you force misses and generate long rebounds, which can quickly go the other way for transition buckets before Toronto’s defensive pillars set up.

Advertisement 9

Article content

Much like the spread for Game 6, Thursday’s total has come a long way since its predecessors after the past four contests all finished Under the number. The 209.5-point total is the fourth-lowest O/U of the playoffs so far (Dallas-Utah has the three lowest) and feels spot on.

I’ll lean Under given the stakes on both sides and some shops moving down to 209 a day out from tipoff.

Prediction: Under 209.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

Best bet

When your opponent shoots 51% from the floor and most of those shots come within eight feet of the bucket, there are not a lot of rebounding chances to go around. That was the case in Game 5, with Philadelphia pulling down only 29 total defensive boards.

Advertisement 10

Article content

Joel Embiid was responsible for 10 of those rebounds and tacked on a bonus board on the offensive end to finish with 11 for the night. That effort followed an eight-rebound outing in Game 4 — Embiid’s worst game on the glass since March 18 — and just the fourth time he’s failed to collect double figures in that stat column over the past 24 contests.

Keeping the lanky Raptors out of the paint means parking Embiid in the interior and crossing your fingers Toronto continues to brick it from long range. That should have the Sixers’ big man in prime position to wrangle those wayward shots.

On the other end, Embiid needs to shoulder the scoring load if Harden isn’t going to show up. There’s no one on this Toronto team that can stop him, as proven in his first few outings before knee and thumb ailments flared up and dampened his performance. He’ll be challenged every time he goes to the hoop, so expect Embiid to brawl for the ball off short misses and score plenty of putback points on offensive rebounds.

Pick: Joel Embiid Over 11.5 rebounds (-130 at Caesars Sportsbook)

This article originally appeared on Covers.com, read the full article here

    Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button