Cleveland at Toronto NBA Playoffs Spread & Betting Preview Game 3

Posted by Peter Boysen on May 4, 2017 in

The Toronto Raptors added Serge Ibaka this year to give themselves some saltier interior defense and bring them a step closer to contending with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. However, two games into their Eastern Conference semifinal, the Cavaliers continue to make Toronto look like a lottery-bound team instead. Now that the series moves north of the border for Game 3, can the Raptors adjust and make this a competitive series? Or are we destined to watch two more laughers? Let’s take a look at what the NBA spread has to say for this matchup.

Cleveland at Toronto NBA Playoffs Spread & Betting Preview Game 3

When: Friday, May 5, 2017, 7:00pm ET
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
TV: ESPN
Radio: Toronto / Cleveland
Stream Option: NBA.tv
NBA Odds: Cavs at -2½

Why should you bet on the Cavaliers?

Two games, two routs so far for the defending NBA champs. In Game 2, LeBron James put up 39 points in a game that looked easy. And this is a real trend now, as the Cavaliers have won five straight against Toronto in the playoffs, by an average margin of 24.2 points. James is scoring 34.9 points, pulling down 10 boards and dishing out 8.1 assists per game in the Cavs’ last nine postseason wins. Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 11 assists, and Channing Frye chipped in 18 points, knocking down five three-balls. Unless the Raptors can find a way to slow down the Cleveland offense, this could be another sweep for the Cavaliers.

Why should you put your money on the Raptors?

This series is much less competitive than I thought it would be — the Cavaliers are 9-0 in the postseason since they lost Game 4 of the NBA Finals last year. The Raptors need a lot more out of DeMar DeRozan (5 points, none until the fourth period), and they also need Kyle Lowry’s sprained ankle (he had 20 points but sat during the fourth period with that ankle on ice). They got 23 points out of Jonas Valanciunas, but they started a smaller lineup and paid the price, getting outrebounded 13-2 in the first period. They need to get back to that ironclad defensive philosophy that has gotten them to the conference semifinals and keep up with Cleveland’s ball rotation if they want to end the Cavs’ postseason winning streak, let alone make the series competitive.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

I see Toronto making this game more competitive at home, but I’m not confident that things will be much better, especially with a hobbled Lowry. I predict a 115-102 Cleveland win.