Free NBA Series Pick: Raptors vs Cavaliers NBA Odds
Looking for Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers free NBA series picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Raptors taking on the Cavaliers on Monday May 1, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball playoff matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions.
2017 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Round 2
NBA Series Odds: Cavaliers -550 | Pistons +375
NBA Championship Futures Odds: Cavaliers +325, Raptors +4000
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This is a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. In that series the Cavs dominated at home with the Raptors winning, and competing really, only at the Air Canada Centre. The series lasted 6 games.
The Cavs once again hold the home court advantage in the matchup (though they had the same regular season record). This is a different Raptors team than it was a year ago though.
They added to the roster midseason with an eye to winning this battle. The question is whether they have improved enough.
Toronto has had a very interesting season. They finished third in the Eastern Conference and transformed themselves along the way, from an offense first team to one that can play a little defense and is much tougher.
Now is the time they need that to pay off.
In the last round they had to deal with Giannis and this round it is LeBron – possibly the two hardest covers in the league. In Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker they have two guys who are effective at guarding elite forwards. How they do at that job will likely determine the series.
Midway through the last round the Raptors made a big switch in their lineup, going smaller by putting SG Norman Powell in as a starter ahead of center Jonas Valanciunas. It will be interesting to see what approach they take against Cleveland who has a couple of bigs.
All of the above talk will be meaningless if the Raptors do not get elite play from their All-Star backcourt. DeMar Derozan was mostly good against Milwaukee. As long as he does not draw LeBron he will score in this series. He is vastly underrated for me.
That leaves PG Kyle Lowry as the x-factor. He was inconsistent against the Bucks but is capable of keeping pace with Kyrie Irving. If he has a good series this one probably goes 7 and then anything can happen.
The Cavs swept the Pacers in the first round but there are still questions as to how good this team can be if they do not start playing some better defense. They have had a lot of time to rest for this series – more than a week – for better or worse.
LeBron is once again stepping it up in the playoffs. He is thisclose to averaging a triple double at 32/9/9. He loves using this time of year to prove he is still the best player on the planet. There really shouldn’t be any doubt.
Kyrie Irving averaged 25ppg against Indiana but really didn’t shoot well. Fortunately the Cavs got a boost from their designated marksman or else it might have been a different series – Channing Frye, JR Smith et al.
LeBron and Kyrie are the key players and thus far everyone is filling in around them effectively. Kevin Love is scoring enough and Tristan Thompson is rebounding the ball. If everyone plays their roles this team should advance. They could make it look easy.
Free Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Series Prediction:
It is always tough for me with Toronto because the Raptors are my team. There is huge value with them in the series but if they win it will be more of the shocking variety. Definitely nobody outside the 416 will predict it.
In terms of the series you will learn everything you need to know in G1. If the Raptors are able to get it they can win but if they lose they will be playing catchup all series.
4* Free NBA Series Betting Pick: Cavs in 7
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