Cavaliers vs. Raptors: Game 2 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated May 02, 2018

jr smith cavaliers

J.R. Smith paced LeBron James' supporting cast to help the Cleveland Cavaliers steal a Game 1 victory in overtime. They opened as 6.5-point underdogs for Thursday's Game 2.

Cleveland
50-32
AT
May 03, 2018, 6:00 PM ET
Scotiabank Arena
Toronto
59-23
Pointspread +7 -110
Moneyline +260
Over / Under o +213.5

61%

Betting Action

39%

Pointspread -7 -110
Moneyline -320
Over / Under u +213.5

61%

Betting Action

39%

It took just one game for the Toronto Raptors to lose home-court advantage in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. That makes Thursday’s Game 2 essentially a must win for the favoured Raptors.

NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis

So much for Toronto having figured out its Game 1 issues. The Raptors ended a 10-game losing streak in playoff openers in the first round with a 114-106 home victory. However, Toronto absolutely blew Game 1 of the East semifinals at home Tuesday night against nemesis LeBron James and the Cavaliers, falling 113-112 in overtime. We predicted the Cavaliers cover of the 7-point spread but a 114-110 Toronto victory. Half right. Just like that, all the work Toronto did to secure home-court advantage is gone.

Rather amazingly, the Cavaliers never led once before OT. It thus became the first postseason game of LeBron’s Hall of Fame career where his team got the win despite never leading during regulation. Toronto had been -227 on the Sports Interaction series line but is now +113. Cleveland has shifted from +158 to -157. The favoured exact result was Raptors in five and seven at +300 and now is Raptors in seven (+274) slightly over Cavaliers in six (+284).

For Game 2, early action on the spread is heavily on Cleveland so that number could drop by tipoff. On the total of 212.5, the vast majority of early bets is on the over. The Cavs are given a total of 103 and the Raptors 109.5. The favoured winning margin is Toronto by 3-6 points at +450.

Cleveland Cavaliers

It sure seemed like everything was going against the Cavs in Game 1. They barely had 48 hours rest since finishing off a grueling seven-game first-round series with Indiana. LeBron admitted he was a bit burned out immediately following the Pacers series, during which he averaged more than 41 minutes per game – after playing all 82 games in the regular season for the first time in his career. While LeBron had a triple-double of 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds vs. the Raptors, he was just 12-for-30 from the field and 1-for-8 from deep.

However, James got some help, unlike much of the Indiana series. J.R. Smith awoke from the dead with 20 points and Kyle Korver added 19. Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson, usually afterthoughts vs. the Pacers, combined for 30 points off the bench. All that seems unlikely again in Thursday’s NBA matchup.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors, tied for the most regular-season home wins in the NBA, had two more days of rest entering Game 1. They were gifted with LeBron shooting 40 percent from the field and zero overtime points. Fellow All-Star Kevin Love was just 3-for-13 for seven points. Both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan hit half their shots. Toronto never trailed in regulation and still lost? Almost impossible.

Then again, the Raptors were just 3-for-18 from the field (0-for-5 from deep) in the final four minutes of regulation and all of overtime. They scored just four points off Cleveland turnovers, while the Cavs had 21 off Toronto giveaways. The Raptors also wasted a huge game from Jonas Valanciunas, who had 21 points and 21 rebounds. It’s highly unlikely in Game 2 that the Cleveland bench outscores Toronto’s again. In fact, the Cavs might mail this one in knowing they already got a split.

Cavaliers vs. Raptors Prediction

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