Gary | Tue 17/05/2016 - 11:58 EDT

NBA Eastern Conference Final Game 1 Preview

NBA Eastern Conference Final Game 1 Preview
The NBA's Eastern Conference Finals is set to tip off on Tuesday night, with the Toronto Raptors traveling to Quicken Loans Arena to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1. We use TopBet's lines to unearth the most sensible pick for tonight's opening sparring.

NBA Eastern Conference Game 1 Analysis

By Dan Favale 

Cleveland Cavaliers (-10.5) vs. Toronto Raptors (+10.5)

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Just in case you forgot: The Cleveland Cavaliers have been Eastern Conference playoff juggernauts. They are undefeated through the first two rounds, winning all eight of their games. That they are favored by double digits, even at home, against the Eastern Conference's second best team in the Toronto Raptors, during the Eastern Conference Finals, is nothing short of absurd.

That's not to say they shouldn't be favored by this much. They have enjoyed a ton of rest, LeBron James is playing well as per usual, and one of Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love is partnering for an explosion with LeBron in every game.

Plus, if the Cavaliers are going to continue shooting three-pointers at their current clip, the Raptors don't stand a chance. Cleveland is driving and kicking its way toward flurries of open triples. Defenses are collapsing on Irving and LeBron, Love seems content to spot up from beyond the arc, and the ball is moving at its highest rate since LeBron's return.

But...11 points? Are they actually going to win by 11 points? They could, rest assured. The Raptors have played almost twice as many games (14) as them (eight), and the Cavaliers blitzed them by 22 points back in January. But they also lost the season series to Toronto, and while that doesn't matter too much, this team stacks up far better against them than any of their previous opponents, including the Atlanta Hawks.

It helps, too, that Kyle Lowry is percolating. He carried the Raptors for much of the latter half of their second round series against Miami. If DeMar DeRozan can find his shot, or if head coach Dwane Casey liberally uses the Lowry-Cory Joseph combination in the back court, Toronto should be able to carve out enough offense to keep pace with Cleveland.

Picking the Raptors here is a risk, make no mistake. They have yet to earn the benefit of the doubt. But the pressure is off them after making the Eastern Conference Finals. No one expects them to win. They don't expect them to win. That will allow them to play fast and free, which, in turn, should make for more tightly contested matchups.

Let Game 1 be your guide for the rest of the series. If it's close, you won't regret this bet and will have a blueprint for the set's duration. If it's a blowout, well, at least you'll know for future games.

The Pick: Raptors (+10.5) 

Category : Sports Betting News

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