The Toronto Raptors got spanked in Games 1 and 2. They’ll have to do better if they’re going to beat the NBA odds and the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night in Game 3.
Well, we were right about one thing: The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t shoot 14-of-34 (41.2 percent) from downtown in Game 2 of their second-round series with the Toronto Raptors. Nope, they shot 18-of-33 (54.5 percent) in Wednesday’s 125-103 rout, covering as 7-point home faves and eclipsing the total of 214.5 points. What is this I don’t even.
The abnormal results from Game 2 might make the UNDER an even more logical pick for Game 3 this Friday (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) at the ACC. It depends on the total, but it also depends on the status of Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. He left the game after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter, came back and played well, then went back to the dressing room with the Raptors down huge. Lowry expects to play Friday; the NBA odds are still taking their time as we go to press, but I see some books across the pond have Toronto getting 2.5 points with a total of 215.5, so let’s roll with that for now.
So yeah, the total’s gone up even more after Wednesday’s blowout, so we could put the UNDER in our NBA picks again. We could also give the Raptors a spin at +2.5, because Toronto was the better team during the regular season, after all. However, you’ve seen that extra level the Cavaliers are playing at right now. It’s still ridiculous that all these 3-pointers are going in, but LeBron James is also bullying the Raptors inside.
Maybe he won’t get away with it as much in Toronto. The Raptors barely got to the foul line in Game 2, partly because they were less aggressive on offense, and partly because the officials put their eyes in their back pockets. The foul line is where DeMar DeRozan does his best work, but he’s just 6-for-8 after two games in Cleveland. This is actually a good spot for the old underdog-UNDER parlay; in fact, let’s recommend both options, just because.