Jordan’s NBA Picks: 73-54 (Playoffs 19-16)
Philadelphia (57-34 SU & 44-47 ATS) at Toronto (64-27 SU & 43-46 ATS)
Tuesday, 7:00 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: 1Q Over
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The Sixers and Raptors have been getting into some low scoring games lately in this series, but what if there was a particular quarter we could take advantage of some low lines on an over play?
Scoring Comes First
The Sixers and Raptors have gotten off to hot starts so far, both in this series and in the entire playoffs, with Toronto having a 116.0 offensive rating (ORtg) in the first quarter, which jumps up to 120.5 when they play at home.
The Sixers have been similarly good in first quarters. They are posting 110.4 points per 100 possessions in the first quarters of their playoff games.
Now over their last four games against one another, the first quarter prowess of both teams has been on display even more. Toronto owns a 113.5 ORtg in the first quarters of their second round series, while the Sixers are at 113.4.
So far, the average combined first quarter score in this series is almost 55 points and, while that is largely due to high-scoring first quarters in Games 1 and 3, there is every other trend establishing here leading in to Game 5.
In the first two games of this series, both teams had an ORtg of 116.7 or higher in the first quarter, so I’m banking on that returning as the series heads back north to Canada.
The Sharp Pick
Even going back to the regular season, both of these teams ranked inside the top 12 in first quarter offense, with the Sixers ranking fourth-best in the league with a first quarter ORtg of 116.4.
While both teams will be engaged on defense, that may not matter with the talent on the floor and the implications of winning this game for both teams. As we’ve seen from both Joel Embiid and Kawhi Leonard, all it takes is a hot shooting game and no defense can stop either player from getting close to or upwards of 30 points.
That starts early, too. Leonard has a 76.1 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) in the first quarters of this series. He dropped 17 first quarter points in Game 1 and Leonard has posted nine first quarter points in each of his last two games in Philly.
First Quarter Score Prediction: Sixers 26 – Raptors 28