Cavaliers vs Raptors – NBA Pick for May 3rd
By all accounts, the Raptors should’ve won Game 1 of this series. Toronto had a better field goal percentage at 42.9% to 41.2%, a better Free Throw percentage at 80.6% to 71.4%, and more rebounds at 50 to 45. They had a 14 point lead after the 1st quarter and a 5 point lead heading into the 4th quarter. Unfortunately for Toronto, they let Cleveland get into their heads and lost the game. As mentioned in my Game 1 prediction, Cleveland has owned the Raptors over the last 2 years in the playoffs going 8-2 against them. Game 1 showed how the Raptors clearly haven’t figured out how to get out from under the thumb of King James.
Speaking of King James, he had a triple double in Game 1, but on a poor shooting performance. In fact, LeBron even said that he played poorly in Game 1. So, the Cavs win on a poor performance by King James? If that’s the case, then the Raptors are in serious trouble because I don’t see LeBron playing “poorly” two games in a row. However, I do have some concern over the Cavs in Game 2 and that’s their consistency.
In the opening round against the Pacers, it seemed like Cleveland took a few games off in the series. Most notably, Game 6 at Indiana. They also lost Game 3 at Indiana as well, when they arguable should’ve won that game. Either the Pacers were a tougher opponent or the Cavs were lazy. That’s the dilemma I’m facing.
With that said, I’m going with King James in this one. Until the Raptors can overcome their demons and beat the Cavs in the playoffs, Cleveland with the points is the smart choice.
In Game 2, I expect LeBron to have a better night shooting. In Game 1, he went 12-of-30 from the floor, 1-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 1-6 from the free throw line. I expect James to improve on all of those numbers and put the Cavs in position to win the game late. Whether they do or don’t, I still believe they will keep it within 7 points.
James had plenty of help from his supporting cast as Korver scored 19 points, Smith had 20 points, Green had 16 points and Thompson had 14 points. Most notably, Korver also shot poorly in Game 1 as he went 7-of-17. I don’t see that happening again. Kevin Love only had 7 points in the opener, and I see him getting at least double digits in this game.
For the Raptors, they committed 13 turnovers compared to Cleveland’s 6. They also only went 9-of-28 from beyond the arc. Toronto needs to clean up both of these areas to win this game. Toronto’s all-star guards Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan combined for 40 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists, 5-of-6 from FT line, and shot 50% from the field. Another performance like that, and the Raptors could be too much for the Cavs. But, with that said, you still have to roll with Cleveland this game.
In the last 10 head-to-head meetings, Cleveland is 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS. They’ve outscored the Raptors by an average of 112 ppg to 109.4 ppg. The Cavs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games and 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games at Toronto. The Raptors are 7-13-1 ATS in their last 21 games, 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games against the Cavs, 9-10 ATS versus the Central Division this year, 8-9 ATS after an upset loss as the favorite, 14-16 ATS when trying to avenge a loss, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 second round playoff games.
Roll with King James and the Cavs to cover the spread in this game and possibly pull off another upset in Toronto.
Bet: Cavs +6.5 points (-108)
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