Raptors vs Cavaliers: Game 3 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated May 04, 2018

cavs vs raps game 3

What is there to say? Cleveland has LeBron James and Toronto doesn’t.

Toronto
59-23
AT
May 05, 2018, 8:30 PM ET
Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Cleveland
50-32
Pointspread +4 -110
Moneyline +130
Over / Under o +215.5

52%

Betting Action

48%

Pointspread -4 -110
Moneyline -150
Over / Under u +215.5

52%

Betting Action

48%

The city of Cleveland has been generally a house of horrors for Toronto over the years, especially in the playoffs. Not good news for the Raptors as they head to Northeast Ohio on Saturday night for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cavaliers down 2-0.

NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis

One doesn’t want to say this series is over following Toronto’s stunningly one-sided 128-110 home loss on Thursday, but …

“The Land” hasn’t been kind to the Raptors. All-time, they are 17-26 in Cleveland in regular-season action. This year, Toronto lost both games there within the span of a couple of weeks. On March 21, the Cavs won a 132-129 shootout behind 35 points and 17 assists from LeBron James. Cleveland was without a handful of injured players as well as Coach Tyronn Lue (illness). Toronto tied a franchise record with 79 first-half points and led by 15 at the break. DeMar DeRozan missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer and might have been fouled by James.

On April 3, the Cavs prevailed 112-106. Toronto was down 12 with under a minute left before making things somewhat interesting. Cleveland made its final four free throws with under 10 seconds left to hang on. LeBron had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. DeRozan had 19, but Kyle Lowry really struggled with five points on 2-for-11 shooting.

The Raptors lost both playoff games in Cleveland last year and all three in 2016 – none of the five were close. On the updated Sports Interaction series line, the Cavs are -712 and Toronto +481.

Toronto Raptors

Losing Game 1 of this series was a surprise for Toronto considering how worn down the Cavs were from their first-round series. Many around the NBA expected Cleveland to essentially mail in Game 2 knowing it already stole a game and achieved a split. Yet, it looked like the Raptors were the ones going through the motions and tired Thursday, at least in the second half. Afterward, the company line was the team would simply have to find a way to play “harder.”

These are the playoffs, and if you aren’t playing with maximum effort you already have lost. No matter whom the Raptors stuck on LeBron or Kevin Love in Game 2, it did no good. The only two Toronto players with a positive plus/minus were Fred VanVleet (+2 in 24 minutes) and Norman Powell (+4 in three minutes). Serge Ibaka, he of the $20 million contract this season, disappeared to the tune of 0-for-5 shooting in 12 minutes. The Raptors simply don’t match up well.

Cleveland Cavaliers

James continues to astound. He was legitimately unstoppable – hitting ridiculous fadeaway after fadeaway — in the second half when Cleveland took control. LeBron finished with 43 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. He scored or assisted on 77 points, the most in his playoff career. That’s fine, you expect excellence from James.

However, the Cavs couldn’t find anyone to slow Love, who had 31 points and 11 rebounds with a team-best rating of plus-21. Jonas Valanciunas can’t guard him because Love plays on the perimeter offensively. CJ Miles played the center at times but couldn’t deal with Love, either. The Cavs have now won eight consecutive playoff games against the Raptors.

Raptors vs. Cavaliers Game 3 Prediction

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