Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
Saturday 7:30 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Sixers ATS
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
The Philadelphia 76ers hope their different look will change a trend when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night for the opener of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series. Toronto is 21-3 against Philadelphia since the start of the 2013-14 season, the most total wins against the 76ers by an opponent over the past five years. The Raptors have won 13 straight at home over the 76ers.
The Sixers’ only win in four games against the Raptors this season came when Kawhi Leonard did not play for Toronto on Dec. 22 at Philadelphia. The 76ers won 126-101.
The teams have not met since Feb. 5 — a 119-107 win for Toronto in Philadelphia — and both have different looks going into the playoff series. The 76ers’ additions have included Tobias Harris on Feb. 6 and Jimmy Butler in November, which has changed their style of play.
The Raptors added Marc Gasol on in a trade Feb. 7 and that has changed them as well. In the Sixers’ three losses to Toronto during the regular season, they averaged 20.7 turnovers, including 18 in that Feb. 5 loss. In their one win over Toronto, they turned the ball over just 13 times. The Sixers have improved in that area. In their first 54 games of the season, ending with that loss to the Raptors, their 15.7 turnovers per game were fourth-most in the NBA. In their final 28 games, they averaged 13, 14th-most in the league.
The Raptors as a franchise have had the propensity of losing their opening series games and for the season they were only 20-24 ATS at home. With the spread being Toronto favored by 6.5 points, there is great value in taking the underdog Sixers, who are built to compete in such a match up.