Free NBA Pick: Cavs vs Raptors NBA Odds
Looking for Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors free NBA picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Cavaliers taking on the Raptors on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions like this Cavaliers Raptors matchup.
Cleveland Cavaliers (50-32) vs. Toronto Raptors (59-23)
Eastern Conference Playoffs: Round 2 – Game 1
Date: Tuesday May 1
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Venue: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NBA Moneyline Odds: -250
NBA Betting Odds: Raptors -6
NBA Betting Total: 218
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Although LeBron James has a history of ruling the Raptors this Cavaliers squad limps into Toronto. Moreover, this marks the first time the squads meet with the Raptors holding the rest advantage. To wit, the past two playoff meetings came with James having swept the prior series.
James played all 82 games averaging the most minutes of any NBA player and logged heavy minutes (41.3) through the first round. Conversely, Kyle Lowry (36.2) and DeMar DeRozan (36.3) are the only Raptors averaging over 30 minutes per game.
Also of note, the Raptors and Cavaliers join the Warriors as the only three teams who’ve advanced past the first round in each of the past three seasons.
Following the Cavaliers sweep of the Raptors last season Masai Ujiri demanded stylistic changes, particularly to the Raptors offense. Increased ball/player movement, faster pace and a greater percentage of perimeter shots were instituted. Additionally, heavier utilization of the youthful reserve unit was employed.
This resulted in Toronto improving from last in assists (18.5) to sixth (24.3). However, the key advantage Toronto possesses is their reserve unit.
Without Fred VanVleet available until Game 6 the bench struggled. There was a noticeable difference with VanVleet back as the reserves produced their most complete effort of the series.
In particular, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl looked much more at ease. Most notable was the Raptors top ranked fourth quarter defense which held the Wizards to 14 points and was predominantly manned by the reserve unit.
LeBron James has lived up to his standing as the best player in the NBA needing to put his Cavaliers on his back throughout the first round. Fatigue may be taking a toll however, as the mega star experienced leg cramping in Game 7, although he still played 43 minutes.
James averaged 34.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 block per game versus the Pacers. The challenge becomes greater in this round with the Raptors ranking nine spots higher than Indiana in both offense and defense.
Cleveland may be trending up however, as several players found their offense in Game 7 offering James more support. However, the health of George Hill who missed three games due to back spasms and Kevin Love (thumb) is precarious at best.
Coach Ty Lue elected to start his most experienced players for Game 7 with Tristan Thompson joining James, Love, J.R. Smith, and Kyle Korver.
NBA Betting Trends:
- Raptors are 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10
- Cavaliers are 8-2 in last 10 head to head
- Over Under is 7-3 in team’s last 10 head to head matchups
Free Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Prediction:
Fatigue is clearly the main issue for Cleveland, but of equal concern is they run the slowest pace and rank as the second worst remaining defensive team. Game 1 in particular offers major advantages for Toronto who last played Friday, are at home and are keen to make amends for the past two seasons.
4* Free NBA Betting Pick: Raptors – 6.0
One day off, travel and not much time to prepare all point to the Raptors jumping out to an early series lead.
NBA Free Score Prediction: Raptors 112 – Cavaliers 103
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