Washington look to defy the NBA odds once again in Game 2 of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs. Can the Wizards pull off the feat or will the Raptors salvage their postseason campaign and level the series 1-1.
Washington Wizards Upset Raptors
Washington Wizards orchestrated the upset in game 1 when they beat the Raptors 93-86 in overtime, marking the only underdog and road win on Saturday's NBA betting menu. The question NBA bettors are asking: can they make it two upsets in a row on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
The 2008 NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce proved to be the X-factor for the Wizards as he led his team to the victory, scoring five of his 20 points in overtime. The small forward was all over the court, even gaining minutes at power forward position to brilliant effect.
Of course, it wasn't all smooth sailing. Not unlike the outlook on this series, the game oscillated between these two teams, each taking turns to lead on the scoreboard. The Raptors won the first quarter 23-19, only for the Wizards to win the next two quarters 27-19 and 19-14, respectively, and take the lead into the fourth quarter. Then the Raptors rallied admirably and sent the game into overtime with just 25 seconds left on the clock behind Greivis Vasquez's heart-stopping 3-pointer. The Wizards, however, put a lid on it in overtime.
NBA Betting Outlook Changes
Immediately following the upset, odds makers slashed the Wizards' NBA odds across various betting markets. In the outright win market, they are down from +6000 to +4000 NBA odds to win it all. In the Eastern Conference, they are down from +1800 to +1400. But, perhaps, most significantly, they are now the favourites to win the first round series, matched at -155 NBA odds. A re-evaluation of the initial NBA betting outlook that had the series open with the Wizards matched at +160 and the Raptors matched at -180 to win the series and advance into the next round.
To be fair, the series is just one game deep. There's still lots of basketball left to play and changing the NBA betting outlook so dramatically is a bit premature, if not misleading. The momentum could swing back-and-forth between these two teams several times before all is said and done.
That said the Wizards do have the 1-0 lead and if they pull off the unlikely win in Toronto on Tuesday night, then they'll be in a position to potentially sweep the series at home. Something few NBA bettors would have predicted at the start of the postseason.
NBA Betting Verdict:
There is no love lost between these two teams and Tuesday should serve up another heated exchange that could go either way in NBA betting markets. Things didn't go to plan for the Raptors in game 1, but that doesn't mean the Wizards will defy the NBA odds with another big road win.
While odds makers favor the Wizards now to advance into the second round, they remain as the decided underdogs in game 2 betting markets. That is telling.
As it is, they are matched at +170 NBA betting odds to win outright while the Raptors are matched as the firm -200 favorites to pull level in the series with a win. The point spread is fittingly narrow, matched at 4.5-points with both sides trading at -110 to cover.
For the Raptors to come through on the expected home win, their starters are going to have to step it up. Kyle Lowry is going to have to have a much better game than he did on Saturday, going under 30%. He was subpar, to say the least. As was DeMar DeRozan. The reserves bailed the Raptors, putting up 48 points with Amir Johnson contributing 19 of those. But, it goes without saying, they won't level the series without their starters finding form, never mind win the series. So look for the Raptors to find their offense in game 2 and come through as the home favorites at -200 on your NBA picks.
NBA picks: Raptors -200 to win at Bookmaker