Our NBA consultant looks deep into the numbers when assessing Game 2 of the playoff series between Washington and Toronto on Tuesday. Join us in reading the revealing breakdown of this contest that culminates with a point-spread selection.
Wizards and Raptors Game 2 on Tuesday
Toronto will try to even their Eastern Conference Playoff series at 1-1 when they host Washington on Tuesday at 8:05 PM ET. According to the NBA betting odds at Pinnacle, Toronto is a 4.5 point favorite, and the posted total is 191.5. The win by Washington in the opening game of the series was their first in four tries against Toronto this season. However, the Wizards have covered three of those four encounters versus the Raptors. The teams have also seen their last three meetings all go under the total, and there was a combined average of 184.7 points scored.
Game 1 Recap
Washington won Game 1 of the series 93-86 and covered as a 4.0 point road underdog, and the game easily went under the total of 194.5. Both teams shot the ball very poorly with Washington shooting 39.4% from the field and Toronto an even worse 38%. The Wizards and Raptors combined to go 12-for-50 (24%) from beyond the three point line. There were only a combined twenty-nine free throws attempted in the game, Washington went 9-for-15 (60%), and Toronto 10-for-14 (71%). The deciding difference in this contest came on the boards where the Wizards held a large 71-56 rebounding edge, and that included 19 offensive rebounds.
The Washington Wizards have now held eight of their last ten opponents to 99-points or less. Teams have shot less than 40% from the field in six of their previous eleven games versus Washington. The Wizards have also shot less than 40% from the field in three of their previous five games. Washington has been stout on the boards with a +7.8 rebound per game differential in their previous five games.
The Toronto Raptors have gone under the total in each of the previous three, and five of their last six games. They’ve held opponents to 93-points or less in four of their last six games, and held three of those foes to less than 40% shooting from the field. If Toronto hopes to even the series, they need to clean up their issues on the boards. The Raptors are a -7.7 rebound per game differential during their previous six contests.
My initial thought on Game 2 of this series was to go under the total. However, the books made a sharp adjustment, going from a closing number of 194.5 on Saturday, to the current number of 191.5 in Tuesday’s contest.
After careful examination of NBA playoff betting history, home favorites in Game 2 of a series, coming off a home favorite straight up loss in Game 1, have covered better than 70% of the time during the past twenty seasons, and are even more profitable as a favorite of 6.5 or less. As a result, I’m going to stay with that sound handicapping logic when making my NBA picks for Tuesday.
NBA Pick: Toronto -4.5 over Washington at Pinnacle.