Toronto at Washington
Time: 6 PM CST
Spread: WAS -5.5
Betting odds c/o Bovada
Most expected this series to be the intriguing series of the first round, but it has hardly lived up to those expectations.
The Washington Wizards have more or less taken care of business against the Toronto Raptors and now lead the best of seven 3-0 with a chance to close the series out.
NBA oddsmakers are favoring the Wiz to do so, setting NBA live lines 5.5 points in favor of hosting Washington. The total for the game is set at 198, and for an explanation of how to bet those odds see our NBA odds explained.
Washington has outscored the Raptors by an average of 8.3 points in the first three games of the series. The Wizards have struggled with fourth quarter production, but used OT in Game 3 to blow Toronto out 11-4 in the extra period. The Raptors bench was more than instrumental in the victory, but it actually outscored the starters 48-38, led by Amir Johnson’s ultra-efficient 8 of 12 shooting. Sixth Man of the Year Louis Williams had an off night shooting the ball, but stayed persistent at shooting as good shooters do.
DeMar DeRozan was the only starter in double figures with 15, but he shot just 6 of 20 from the floor and neither Terrence Ross (3 of 11) nor Kyle Lowry (2 of 12) were effective at all either. In all, the four Raptors reserves to see action all played 31 minutes or more by the end of the 53-minute contest. DeRozan played a team-high 43 minutes, and it stands to reason that he may have to do so again if Toronto is to extend its season.
The Raptors began the season on an 11-2 tear, and the team has struggled to regain that initial swagger ever since. Losing Kyle Lowry for a long stretch did no favors either, because for as competent as Greivis Vasquez is, he’s equally as mediocre.
Washington didn’t get the same production it did in game 2 from Bradley Beal and John Wall, but what it did get was enough. The tandem combined for 54 points in game 2, yet scored just 26 combined in victory. Wall and Beal combined to hit 11 of 41 from the floor, and Beal had four turnovers. The Wizards assisted on 22 of its 39 field goals, but in the win still shot under 40 percent from the floor.
That leaves the door open for Toronto to get back in this series, but the Raptors struggles offensively are harder to pin point given that the unheralded reserves are adapting to Washington’s defense quite well and the premier talents are struggling. That’s a recipe for a first round exit. The Raptors have the talent to hang with Washington, but it has been the Wizards that have controlled the tempo and managed to get into the paint.
Wall has disassembled each Raptor zone and at this point the Raptors are struggling to imagine how Wall can possibly be slowed. Though he had an off shooting night, he gave the Wiz enough with his creativity in creating offense with stagnancy away from the ball. His eight assists are a reflection of a total that would be far higher if the Wizards were shooting the ball better. 39 percent in a win is still 39 percent. The fact that Toronto isn’t even a good defensive team casts shadows on whether the Wizards have any chance at hanging with the top seeded Atlanta Hawks should the Wiz advance, Sunday night or otherwise.
Raptors are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Raptors are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Over is 4-0 in Raptors last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Wizards are 2-0-2 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Wizards are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
Wizards are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Head to Head
Raptors are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Raptors are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Washington.