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When you are down 3-0 in a playoff series, you are supposed to just roll over and accept the loss, right? Well, the Raptors did not get the memo and now they are in a pretty good spot to tie up the series at home Thursday night.

Philly definitely looked tight on their homecourt in Game 5. Even though it should have been the spot to get the series win with Fred VanVleet missing the game for the Raptors. He is not expected to play the rest of the series.

If Joel Embiid is truly elite, this series should already be over. That is what the elite players due, they exert their will, especially when they are the physical mismatch that he can be. Toronto is proving once again that they are great at defending him, or that he is overrated. Probably both. I still will never understand why the biggest guy on the floor winds up on the deck as much as he does.

Even with the game in Toronto, the 76ers are still small favorites.  When you look at the pricing it is telling a little bit of a different story. 

Game Info

Philadelphia 76ers (3-2) vs. Toronto Raptors (2-3)
Thursday, April 28, 2022
7:00 p.m. ET
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NBA TV

Betting Odds

Spread: 76ers -1.5 (+105), Raptors +1.5 (-125)
Total: 210.5
Moneyline: 76ers -112, Raptors -108

Best Bet

Raptors ML

For starters, with such a small spread the winner of the game is likely to cover and you get a much better payoff on the ML.

Looking deeper at the game, it is hard to see how Philly gets things sorted on the road after a couple of games where they have been frustrated by a Raptors defense that switches everything and double-teams Embiid whenever he gets the ball.

James Harden has had some flashes, but overall he has not been efficient enough scoring-wise to make a difference, while Embiid forces the action too much and turns the ball over. For the 76ers to win on the road they need efficient scoring from the outside from their two stars and more from emerging Tyrese Maxie. Maxie has been brilliant in transition but in the halfcourt, you can still control him by staying in front of him because he is not a great outside shooter. 

For Toronto, with VanVleet out, they are getting more and more comfortable with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes initiating the offense. Both are willing passers and they can exploit smaller players in the post when they get that matchup. Toronto has been ruthless in terms of hunting down matchups with Harden, or George Niang when he is on the floor, to create mismatches that lead to open shots from the perimeter from the likes of Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby. It is working too. 

Scotiabank Arena is one of the best home environments in the NBA, so unless Philly gets off to a fast start, it is going to be difficult for them to get over the hump (they are not the team to claw back into a game because they are not great defensively). A fast start generally comes from hot shooting or new tactical wrinkles from the coach. I am not expecting either. 

Toronto should develop a nice working lead and close the game out at home. Game 7 will be very interesting.  


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