Washington at Toronto -8 O/U 211
The betting markets certainly aren’t sleeping on the Toronto Raptors extended stretch of playoff failures. Make no mistake about it – the Raptors have been a dismal pointspread team in the postseason throughout the Dwayne Casey era, quite literally never living up to betting market expectations.
The results do not lie. The Raptors went 3-6-1 ATS in their ten playoff games last year. They went 7-13 ATS in their 20 playoff games in 2016. In 2015, it was an 0-4 ATS Run as they got swept and in 2014, the Raptors covered only two pointspreads while getting eliminated in the first round in seven games.
When you add up all of that carnage, we’re talking about a 12-27-2 pointspread run in the postseason during the Dwayne Casey era. That includes a truly ugly run in Game 1’s: 11 SU losses in 12 tries as a franchise, including an 0-7 SU and ATS record in Game 1’s over the last four postseasons.
No surprise here that the betting public has been more than a little reluctant to put their $$ on the Raptors as big home chalk in Game 1 of this series. Given Casey’s track record and given the failures of this current core of Raptors in the postseason, there is ZERO betting bandwagon on Toronto right now. IF – and yes, that is an ‘if’ – they play well in the postseason this year, there will be a fair bit of residual value backing this squad; a team that has the potential to be a significantly undervalued commodity moving forward.
From all indications, the Raptors are treating this Game 1 very differently from Game 1’s in years past. Kyle Lowry yesterday: “Our Game 1 is our Game 7 tomorrow, to be honest. We got to play like a Game 7. That’s just how we have to do it….like it’s our last game……We’ve lost a lot of Game 1’s; lost a lot!”
DeMar DeRozan: "We didn't get 59 wins for no reason. The hunger, the push, the pain of the grind all season. The failures from the previous years, kind of carrying that over. Definitely feels different."
It’s surely worth noting that both Lowry and DeRozan played far fewer regular season minutes than in either of the last two years, in large part due to the Raptors impressive depth. And the wiseguys have kept this pointspread in the -8 range, well familiar with the Raptors impressive statistical profile – the only team in the NBA ranked in the Top 5 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
The Raptors still remember getting swept out of the first round by the Wizards in 2015. That series probably marks the high point of the John Wall era in Washington; an era defined by their own set of playoff failures. This Wizards team went 10-15 SU post-All Star Break, not exactly bringing their ‘A’ games on either end of the court. Frankly, the Wiz have 1-2-3-Cancun written all over them. Points worth laying!