Cavaliers vs. Raptors NBA Picks: Precursor to Future Playoff Series?

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 5:25 PM GMT

NBA odds favor the Cavaliers as they host the Raptors tonight & we bet that with Cleveland in the role of hunter, Toronto will find out that it "aint no fun when the rabbit got the gun." 

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Toronto Raptors 7:35 ET
At 7:35 ET this evening, the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Toronto for an Eastern Conference showdown that could well be a preview of a playoff matchup.  Atlanta currently leads the East by a comfortable 10 games in the loss column over this Toronto team that is 38-22 SU.  The quickly improving Cleveland team matches Toronto's 38 wins but remains 2 behind Toronto in the loss column.  Toronto captured the first meeting between these two at Cleveland in November (110-93) but the Cavs returned the favor with a (105-91) victory in Toronto, then broke the series tie with a 105-101 win in Cleveland.  Tonight, Cleveland enters as the hotter team, but in the role of "hunter."  As a result, this game figures to be a precursor for a future playoff series with the No. 2 seed allowing the privilege of home court.

Toronto has played through injury to key backcourt component, DeMar DeRozan.  Despite the fact that he has returned to full health, the powerful Toronto backcourt has been substandard in recent games.  To note, Toronto enters on a 1-5 SU ATS slide with the lone win in that timeframe against the lowly Sixers by a count of 114-103.  Prior to that game, the Raptors had gone 0-5 SU ATS with their conference leading offense of 105 PPG failing to top the 100 point mark, while averaging just 91 PPG.  DeRozan, Lowry (doubtful tonight with a hand injury) and Lou Williams have shot under 40% in the previous 10 games.

Cleveland's resurgence hit a speed bump due to the fact that PG Irving and LeBron James missed playing time.  It resulted in a 93-86 loss at Indy and a 105-103 loss at Houston.  But, Cleveland bounced back strong last night to beat Boston at home (110-79).  In that game, James and Irving combined for 45 points and 7 Cleveland players were in double figures.  With that victory, Cleveland is now 19-4 SU and 17-6 ATS, since Mozgov, JR Smith and Shumpert joined Cleveland's big three of James, Irving and Love to create the perfect storm.

With Cleveland back on track and now healthy, the Cavs trailing the Raptors by 2 games in the loss column and Toronto in an offensive nosedive, we are eager to line up with the NBA odds favored Cavs as they close in on the No. 2 seed in the East.  Place your NBA pick on Cleveland in the role of hunter, as Toronto finds out that it "aint no fun when the rabbit got the gun."

NBA Picks: Take Cleveland Cavaliers at 5Dimes