Game 3: Toronto (1-1) at Orlando (1-1)
Friday, 7 PM ET (ESPN)
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For the first time since 2012, the Orlando Magic host a playoff game Friday night with their Eastern Conference first-round series against the second-seeded Toronto Raptors tied 1-1. On the updated BetOnline series line, the Raptors are -475 and Magic +400. We think Toronto wins in six games.
Some Raptors fans were panicking after Game 1, but it really wasn’t too surprising their team lost – Toronto is now 2-14 all-time in playoff openers. When starting a first-round playoff series at home, the Raptors dropped to 1-6. However, the team is now 6-1 in the second game of those scenarios. Toronto has not trailed 0-2 in a first-round series since facing Washington in 2015.
Kyle Lowry came alive in the 111-82 blowout in Game 2, the largest margin of victory in Raptors postseason history. After going scoreless in Game 1, he was 8-for-13 from the field on Tuesday for 22 points along with seven assists and a rating of plus-30. Kawhi Leonard was fantastic with 37 points and a plus-37 rating in arguably one of the Top 3 playoff performances in Raptors playoff history. Pascal Siakam had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka 13 off the bench. Toronto blew it open with a 39-point third quarter.
Perhaps Orlando was flat in Game 2 knowing it already had achieved the split. Magic fans have to be concerned with All-Star center Nikola Vucevic. Toronto coach Nick Nurse has started Marc Gasol at center over Ibaka in both games because Gasol is a terrific defender. It has showed. Vucevic was held to 11 points in Game 1 and then was just 3-for-7 from the field for six points in Game 2. He is struggling to pass out of double-teams as well. Vucevic shot 51.8 percent from the field during the season and is at 28.6 in this series.
Other than Aaron Gordon shooting 8-for-12 for 20 points, no Magic starter did anything in Game 2. Orlando shot 37 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 17 times, which the Raptors converted into 26 points.
The Magic should be confident at home, though, as they won their final nine games at the Amway Center and finished 25-16 overall, the franchise’s most home wins since the 2010-11 season. Orlando was 1-1 at home vs. Toronto this year and has lost 10 of the last 13 meetings at home (including one at London) in this series.
Make it 10 of 14. Raptors win 106-99, so also lean ‘under.’
- Raptors are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.