Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers will go on the road Thursday night to play Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors in a pivotal matchup for playoff seeding.
In their last meeting on March 6, the Cavs defeated the Raptors 104-96. Lauri Markkanen led the way with a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Evan Mobley added a double-double consisting of 20 points and 17 rebounds (team-high).
Toronto is 5.5-point favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 214.5.
Pick ATS: Cavs +5.5
The Cavaliers had their two-game win streak on Monday night in an 11-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Garland had another solid performance with 29 points and 17 boards, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the duo of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Cleveland is only one game ahead of the Raptors, who are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs do hold the tiebreaker over Toronto, which is huge as we wrap-up the regular season. If Cleveland can get on a roll, then the Cavs could steal the fifth seed from the Bulls.
However, looking at tonight’s game, the Cavs are 1-6 in their last seven road games and 2-4-1 against the spread over that time. Cleveland is 19-16-1 ATS on the road this season and 13-10 as a road underdog.
The Raptors enter tonight’s game off of a tough 113-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls earlier this week. Toronto shot the ball well from the field (44%), but struggled mightily from the three-point line (18.8%). The Raptors have not played great against the Cavs this season, which could end up hurting them in terms of playoff seeding. Toronto is 6-2 ATS in the last eight games, but 0-5 ATS in the last five home games. The Raptors are 12-13 ATS as home favorite this season.
Over/Under: Under 214.5
In their first three matchups this season, the total points scored were 203, 243, and 200. The total has gone over in seven of the Cavaliers’ last eight games, while the total has gone under in nine of the Raptors’ last 12 games.
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