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Sunday NBA Playoff Wagers For Winning Bettors
NBA playoff bets on Sunday
By Liam Davis
All betting odds brought to you by Topbet.
Toronto Raptors (+7) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (-7)
Stick a fork in the Toronto Raptors. They're done.
No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit, and they aren't going to be the ones to rewrite the record books—not when they are playing the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.
Never mind that the Raptors have lost each of the first three games by an average of 18 points. It could be one point and it wouldn't matter. They'll be missing Kyle Lowry, their best player, when the action tips off. They have no chance of winning without him.
It's just not what he does for the Raptors' offense, though that's certainly part of it. His ability to play on or off the ball opens things up considerably, and his own playmaking acumen ensures DeMar DeRozan won't face as much pressure or double-teams with the rock in his hand. On top of that, Lowry is a plus-defender who is more than capable of slowing Kyrie Irving or someone like J.R. Smith or Iman Shumpert. We can kind of say the same for Cory Joseph, yet he doesn't cover up for DeRozan's defensive warts nearly as well as Lowry.
Look for Raptors head coach Dwane Casey to mix things up, because his team has nothing to lose. Norman Powell spent a lot of time in Game 3 on LeBron, and if Casey tries that again, you can bet the Raptors will run super small, with him as their de facto power forward, in an attempt to get the Cavaliers to adjust at their behest.
It won't work, of course.
Then again, nothing will.
The Pick: Cleveland Cavaliers (-7)
Kelly Oubre Jr. has been suspended for Game 4 after blatantly body-checking Kelly Olynyk following a particularly nasty screen in Game 3. While he isn't everything to the Washington Wizards, the last thing they need is to shrink their rotation even further.
Going beyond seven deep is a challenge for the Wizards. Their starting lineup is a huge plus in this series, and they've outscored the Boston Celtics by 49 points through three first quarters. They've also held double-digit leads in every game, even the two that they've lost.
But bench-heavy units are failing. And in the scant few minutes head coach Scott Brooks tries to get by with both John Wall and Bradley Beal on the bench, the Wizards are cratering.
Even if Washington makes it so one of Beal and Wall is on the court at all times, depth remains a problem. Inconsistent offensive efforts from Beal, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter put Wall in a very tight spot, and the Wizards' defense has yet to prove it's good enough to defend at a high level from wire to wire.
Indeed, Washington has been spectacular at home since Christmas. But betting on Boston's depth prevailing has never made more sense than it does now.
The Pick: Boston Celtics (+4.5)
The San Antonio Spurs proved in Game 3 they don't need Tony Parker, who is done for the season following a left leg injury, to knock off the Houston Rockets. And, truthfully, this isn't surprising. Though he can still be an offensive boon, many of their lineups without him have been super potent all year. They can win this series without him.
Still: We can't discount the red flags we saw in Game 3.
Well, they aren't so much as red flags as they are caveats.
James Harden is going to get more offensive help in Game 4; it won't just be Trevor Ariza carrying the supporting cast. Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon will all shoot better, and the Rockets should even be able to extract more out of Nene.
The Spurs also aren't going to win many contests against the Rockets by making less than 10 three-pointers, as they did in Game 3. The Rockets themselves went 12-of-39 from long range, many of them wide-open looks, which helped the Spurs a great deal. But they can't bet on a similar cold streak in Game 4.
To be honest, it's almost impossible to discern a favorite, in terms of an outright winner, at this moment. Both teams continue to make adjustments over the course of the series that make you think it could be them.
Instead, bet on this being a close game, which, in turn, favors the Spurs' spread.
The Pick: San Antonio Spurs (+5.5)
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