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NBA Eastern Finals: Raptors vs. Cavaliers Series Picks

Raptors vs Cavaliers Series PicksThe Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The series starts on Tuesday night in Cleveland and the bookies aren’t giving the Canadian team much of a chance, despite finishing just behind the Cavaliers during the regular season.

Toronto may have advanced to their first Eastern Conference Finals, but it took a toll on the team. Jonas Valanciunas is injured. He definitely won’t start in the series and his status is uncertain. Not only are the Raptors shorthanded, but both the Pacers and Heat forced the Raptors to play two game sevens already.

Cleveland made quick work of the Pistons and Hawks, sweeping both team in four games. They’ve had so much time off to rest that they hosted a dance party this past weekend for all players. The Cavaliers are clicking on all cylinders and haven’t had to deal with any injuries yet.

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers series odds

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The Raptors ended the series with the Heat last night (Sunday), so we’re still waiting on other series markets to open. Obviously, there isn’t much value here unless you think the Raptors will pull off the upset. I’m more interested in betting on the series lasting 5-6 games once the odds are out.

2016 NBA Eastern Conference Finals schedule

The series starts on Tuesday and the first three games will be played this week. You can view the entire schedule below, which includes the TV stations that’ll be broadcasting each game in the US and Canada. If required, the series won’t be completed until the end of the month.

2016 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

Raptors vs. Cavaliers H2H season series

Toronto actually won the regular season series (2-1), but both teams were missing important players in these games and the last time they played was back in February 2016. Home court advantage may prove the difference, as the home team has won every game during the regular season.

Scores: Raptors 103-99 (November 25th 2015), Cavaliers 122-100 (January 4th 2016) and Raptors 99-97 (February 26th 2016).

Will the Cavaliers sweep the Raptors in the ECF?

I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if the Cavaliers swept the Raptors in the ECF, but I’m not putting my money on that happening. Despite what analysts are predicting, the Raptors have a good chance to make this a series and give the Cavaliers a real test in the East.

Toronto may have needed seven games to eliminate the Pacers and Heat, but the Raptors haven’t lost back-to-back games in the NBA playoffs. If they can steal one of the first two games in Cleveland it’ll change the entire outlook of this best-of-seven series.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry need to continue to play like they did in game 7, but more importantly, DeMarre Carroll has to defend LeBron James like he’s capable of doing. James shot 37.5% in the lone H2H game with Carroll defending him, but that improved to 55.2% in the two H2H games without Carroll.

The key for the Cavaliers is to keep doing what has been working. Kyrie Irving and James have done a great job attacking the paint and then kicking it out to one of their 3-point shooters in J.R. Smith, Kevin Love or even Channing Frye who has been on an absolute tear.

Raptors vs. Cavaliers Game 1 odds and predictions

When: Tuesday, May 17th 2016 at 8:35 PM ET
Where: Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
Watch: ESPN (US) & SportsNet (Canada)

Cleveland will open up the series at home and they’re –10.5 point favorites to win the opening game. Cleveland have won six of eight playoff games by 10+ points, so it’s not out of the question, especially considering the Raptors will be playing on little rest on Tuesday night.

Until we see how both teams perform on Tuesday night, I’d avoid the point spread market. The best bet in game 1 of the series is under 202 points. Toronto has struggled to hit shots most of the playoffs, but they’ve also played great defense in most games.

Here’s an interesting trend. The Raptors have allowed 100+ points five times in the playoffs and they’ve lost every game. Holding the Cavaliers to under 100 points needs to be the Raptors main priority if they want to not get blown out of this series.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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