Raptors set as betting favourites in series against Sixers


Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) drives against the Philadelphia 76ers. (Frank Gunn/CP)

The Toronto Raptors will be looking to extend their franchise-record straight-up win streak in the playoffs to five games when they open their second-round playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night as -230 favourites on the NBA series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto advanced to the second round for a fourth straight year with a decisive 115-96 win over the Orlando Magic as 11.5-point home chalk in Game 5 of their first-round tilt, improving the team’s record to 11-2 SU in 13 outings ahead of Saturday’s game at Scotiabank Arena.

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The Raptors closed out their series against Orlando with four straight victories, marking the team’s longest playoff win streak in franchise history, but have plenty of work to do to overcome a dismal track record in the second round. The Raptors were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in each of the past two years, and have amassed a 7-15 SU overall record in four previous trips to the second round of the playoffs.

However, the Raptors looked prepared to take the next step during their series with the Magic, claiming victory by double-digit margins in three of their four wins while holding Orlando to just 89 points per game.

In addition to fueling a 5-1 run for the UNDER in totals betting, Toronto’s defence has contributed to the team’s steadiest performance this season at the sportsbooks where they are 9-3 against the spread in their past 12 game according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Raptors’ speedy dispatching of the Magic has also given the club a boost on the NBA futures, where they now sit as a solid +250 bet to claim their first-ever Eastern Conference title, and have improved slightly to +1000 on the NBA championship odds.

Toronto also holds a clear head-to-head advantage as the team enters its playoff matchup with the Sixers. The Raptors took three of four from the 76ers this season, capped by a 119-107 rout in Philadelphia as 2.5-point underdogs on Feb. 5, and have avoided consecutive losses while going 21-3 SU in 24 meetings with their divisional rivals since January 2013.

The 76ers advanced to the second round for the second consecutive post-season after closing out their series against the Brooklyn Nets in dominating style, posting a lopsided 122-100 win as nine-point home chalk on the NBA odds in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia rebounded from a Game 1 loss to Brooklyn with four straight decisive wins. However, the Sixers struggled down the stretch, closing the regular season on a 4-7 SU and ATS run, and lag as a lengthy +2000 wager on the NBA championship odds.

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