Game: Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Raptors +7.5, Sixers -7.5
Toronto managed to fight off elimination in Game 4, but now the series shifts back to Philadelphia where the 76ers have the opportunity to end it all with a win in Game 5 tonight. Pascal Siakam was the best player on the floor in Game 4 scoring 34 points for the winners. The win did come at a cost though as Raptors guard Fred VanVleet left the game with a hip injury. He is listed as questionable for tonight. If VanVleet is unable to go, look for Toronto to go big to counter the Sixers.
The Raptors don’t have the size to match up well with Philly’s Joel Embiid, an MVP favorite. However, going big allows the Raptors to get some quality double teams on the rest of the Sixers. Plus, Toronto will have NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in the lineup once again. Barnes played in Game 4 for the first time since playing in Game 1. He led the Raptors in rebounding and played excellent defense. Barnes held Philly’s James Harden to a minus-14 in Game 4. If he can do that again, the Raptors have a shot with or without VanVleet.
Toronto has not been winning recently. The Raptors are just 1-4 SU in their last five games. They have also been weak against the number going 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games on the road in Philadelphia. Without VanVleet it will be difficult to replace his 20 points per game and his solid backcourt defense on the other end.
Philadelphia has some problems of its own. Embiid scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Game 4. It appears that he has a thumb injury that will require surgery. Embiid has said he will likely play through the injury, but it could affect his play. If Toronto can extend the series, that may become an even bigger issue.
Despite the loss in Game 4, Philadelphia is still 5-1 SU in its last six games. The Sixers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last eight against Toronto at home. For the season, Philadelphia was 19-24 ATS in home games.
The first game of the series went Over the total. Since then, the last three games have each gone Under. Tonight’s total of 209.5 is the lowest of the series. It makes sense though as both teams have top-10 defenses. Philly is seventh in points allowed while Toronto is eighth. In three of the four games in the series thus far, the winning team has scored 112 points or fewer. In the series between the two teams, the Under has now cashed in four of the last six head-to-head meetings. The last three games have averaged a total of 208.7 points.