Free 2018 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: Cavaliers vs Raptors Prediction (Game 1)
The NBA has two games on the board for Tuesday night. The first round came to a finish on Sunday night with the Cavaliers advancing over Indiana. Now Cleveland will face the Raptors in the second round. Game 1 will be on TNT at 8:00 PM ET. Here is my best bet for May 1. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions
The Cavaliers finished the season as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland went 50-32 during the regular season. Toronto finished the season 59-23, which was good enough to book them the top spot in the East.
Indiana was a fierce competitor for the Cavaliers. The Pacers pushed the series seven games. Cleveland went 3-1 at home against the Pacers but went 1-2 at Indiana. Lebron James averaged 34 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists in the seven-game series. The only other player to average double-digit points in the series was Kevin Love with 11 points per game.
Toronto was able to beat the eighth seeded Washington Wizards in six games. The Raptors were able to take a 2-0 series lead at home but lost back to back in Washington to have a 2-2 series tie. Toronto went on to win the next two games to take a 4-2 series win. DeMar DeRozan has averaged 27 points per game in the playoffs. Kyle Lowry has scored 17 points per game and 8 assists.
The Cavaliers went 2-1 against the Raptors in the regular season. Cleveland went 2-0 at home but lost the one matchup they played in Toronto. The playoffs bring a whole other thing to the table though. Toronto has struggled against the Cavaliers in the playoffs in the past. This Cleveland team is much different though. The Cavaliers rely heavily on Lebron James, while his supporting cast has struggled to give him much help. In the seven-game series against Indiana, no player besides Lebron James scored over 20 points.
Cleveland Cavaliers +6½ (-110) at Toronto Raptors -6½ (-110)
The Cavaliers finished their series on Sunday, which gave them only one day to rest and prepare for Toronto. The Raptors finished last Friday, which has given them a couple days to rest up before their second-round matchup. Toronto will host Game 1, which gives them an edge, as shown in their 133-99 victory at home against the Cavaliers during the regular season. Both teams are healthy, but the Cavaliers bench will need to provide more support if they want to compete with Toronto.
6½ points is a lot to be favored by in a playoff game, but I believe the Raptors could cover this spread in Game 1. Both teams are listed at the same payout at -110. I believe Toronto is a much better and deeper team. Cleveland will need to provide some help for Lebron James. James cannot carry this team alone in the second round. I am picking the Toronto Raptors against the spread for Game 1.