Raptors blow lead; advantage…
Toronto won Game 5 at home to push the Nets to the brink on Wednesday, however they did it in far from convincing fashion. In what could have been a convincing win, the Raptors were up by 22 points at the end of the 3rd quarter, but they gave up 44 4th quarter points to the Nets, which almost led to one of the greatest playoff comebacks of all time.
Now we head to Brooklyn, where the NBA odds have the Nets as solid -5 favorites, with a total of 191 points. Although I do think this could be a big defensive battle between these two teams, I think the spread has a lot of value for our sports picks, even if the score stays low. Even though they blew a huge lead, I think the Raptors still have some confidence heading on the road. They know they are the better team I this series, they just have to be that for all four quarters in Brooklyn and they will move on.
Kyle Lowry dropped 36 points on Deron Williams and the guy is still getting little love from the media or fans of the league for that matter. He and DeMar DeRozan are out playing any of the perimeter players from the Nets outside of maybe Joe Johnson, but even he has had one bad game this series.
Simply put, no matter what the Nets do, I think the NBA odds are giving way too many points to Brooklyn, leaving us an open door for our NBA picks. I put this game more around +3 ½, and to see the spread at +5, I am taking the points with the road team.
The Sharp Pick
Toronto has now covered two of the last three games of this series, and they were two points way from covering the last games, which would have made it three in a row. Even though they blew a huge lead in Game 5, I bet they can keep this game within one to two possessions at the end of it. The battle between Williams and Lowry is still a huge mismatch that no one in Brooklyn can solve, because DeRozan is playing just as good. Jonas Valanciunas has also played well shooting 67% from the floor and averaging 13 points per game this series.
The Nets have no one that is big enough to counter Val in the post, and with the rebounding the way it’s gone this series, I don’t see the Nets winning any 2nd chance battles in Game 6 either. The Raptors are 17-8 ATS during the regular and postseason when playing as a road underdog. Toronto is also 22-11 ATS as an underdog this season, and they are currently 27-18 ATS on the road.
The only thing Toronto did wrong in Game 5 was take their foot off the gas in the 4th. Dwayne Casey won’t let his team make that mistake again, and even if they don’t win this game, they will keep it close enough to cover. Toronto does not want to face a veteran team like the Nets in a Game 7.
My Pick: Raptors +5