April 30th 2014 - Posted at 5:00 PM Eastern Time
Take Toronto Raptors at -3 spread against Brooklyn Nets risking 2%
Game 5 between the Nets and Raptors should prove to be the pivotal game of the series! With this series tied at two games a piece, the winner of tonight's contest will surely have one foot in the next round. Each team has so far managed to take a game away from home. The Nets managed to win Game 1 out in Toronto to start the series and the Raptors repaid that favor in the last game as a come from behind effort allowed them to grab a vital Game 4 victory! While each team has managed a win on the road, we feel the advantage belongs to the home side tonight.
The Nets were in a favorable spot coming into game 1 of this series. There is no doubt that Brooklyn is the more veteran team in this matchup, especially when considering players with playoff experience. That type of experience is invaluable as everything is magnified in the postseason and guys like Paul Piece and Kevin Garnett have been in plenty of big game battles. Toronto had a great season, a better one than Brooklyn in fact (statistically) as they were in the same division and the Raptors blinched the division and finished 3rd in the Eastern conference! But they are a young team and it wasn't surprising to see them lose the opening game of the series. We suspected nerves may get the better of them given that it was their first playoff apperaance in 6 years and it did. They got off to a slow start in that game and could never quite recover. But now Game 5 is here and feel that the Raptors are in a different mindset having played in four playoff games and growing more confident with each passing game.
The Nets are in somewhat of a different situation at this moment. In Game 4, they had the game firmly within their grasp heading into the fourth quarter. But even with a healthy lead and all of their supposed "big game" experience they managed to score only 12 points in the 4th quarter in a game that would have given them a commanding lead in the series! The fact that they couldn't close out that game on their home court says a lot about this team and its defencies. How Game 4 ended could come back to hurt them tonight and it is worth remembering that they have lost the 4th quarter in all 4 games thus far! The athleticism of this Raptors team has shown through in the 4th quarter of the games and should once again give them the edge tonight.
The longer this series has gone on, the more comfortable Toronto has gotten while the Nets have started to look tired. Whether it was nerves or emotions in Game 1 that led to defeat, it is in the past. The Raptors are nonetheless the team that keeps improving and they even managed to keep Joe Johnson quiet in the last game limiting him to just 7 points! Brooklyn meanwhile has been the team that has started to regress. They are a veteran team and one of the downfalls of that is typically the fact that they have many aging players on their roster. Playing the type of schedule that the playoffs dictate can often take a toll on the older players' bodies and that might be what we are seeing here.
These games have been close in this series but let's not forget that Brooklyn has been a very poor road team this season. They finished the regular season 9 games below .500 on the road and their late season surge came as a result of an impressive home winning streak at the Barclays Center! The Raptors on the other hand were 26-15 at Air Canada Center and have been a solid team no matter where they played. With a chance to take control of this series, we don't feel that they will let Brooklyn beat them on their home floor again. Toronto should celebrate tonight and the win should bring the cover. Lay the 3 points.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Toronto is 7-2 ATS after allowing 85 points or less in their previous game!
- Nets are 1-5 as a road underdogs 3 points or less this season!
- Toronto has dominated the glass in this series grabbing 9 more rebounds on average per game!
- Toronto is 29-18 ATS coming off a game where they covered the spread.
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