After being embarrassed in Game 1 and losing by the biggest deficit in playoff history, I’d like to think the Raptors will come out guns blazing and determined to win in tonight’s game. I mean, at least I hope so. I’m just unsure if Toronto even has enough talent and poise to compete with the Cavaliers on this type of stage…
Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs offense was just unstoppable in Game 1 as they dominated in transition and in the paint. Thanks to a hot start from DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors were able to hang with the Cavs early on, but it was unsustainable. If the Raptors want any chance to beat the Cavs, they cannot let it be a shoot out because they’ll lose that battle a majority of the time. Instead, they have to turn it into a defensive game and keep Cleveland below 100 points. I said I like the series to go five games, but I think the Raptors will only be able to take one on their home court. Therefore, I’m picking the Cavaliers to win again tonight. But the real question is who to take with the spread, as Cleveland is listed as the 12 point favorite. There is a well-known, and fairly accurate, theory that says when teams play after getting blown out they will almost always cover the spread. That is why I’m taking the underdogs tonight to cover. I think Toronto comes out angry, with an added focus on defense, and is able to play with Cleveland for a majority of the game. To throw in some stats, Toronto is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a loss and Cleveland is 1-3 in their last 4 games as a favorite of 12 or more. Come on Toronto, make the Eastern Conference entertaining again.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors (+12, -110)