The second game of the second round series between Toronto and Boston should tell us all just who are the real Raptors. So much expectation on the verge of being shot with a second straight loss. Then it’s the most anticipated first round game 7 in a long time as it’s pretty even between the Jazz and Nuggets. Here we go!
Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors Predictions
I honestly don’t anticipate much change from the first game nor any major adjustment by the Raptors. That’s a big problem for Toronto who clearly feels they only lost because shots weren’t falling. In fact, it was much bigger than that as the Celtics clamped down on their opponent from the jump, taking another game in their overall series, and jumping ahead 1-0 in this round. Boston had such a balanced attack that was facilitated by 10 Kemba Walker assists. They have four guys who can get you 20 points each game, and Toronto hasn’t figured them out all season, let alone game 1. It’s too tight of a line to take a point and still lay the juice, so jump on Boston with the ML, and even in-game parlay that with the under.
Toronto will play better defense, but still not truly be more of an outside threat around Boston’s d. Meaning it might be a little higher of a score, but don’t count on either team to put up 120 in this contest. Boston has so much momentum even beyond just taking the first game. They’ve controlled their head-to-head matchups with Toronto and needed that first game energy boost to confirm they can play with anyone. The two head coaches should have a battle on their hands, despite the first game going to Brad Stevens in a landslide. Even with a couple of more outside shots, the Raptors won’t do enough for this total to go over.
PICK: Celtics ML @ +104
PICK: Under 220 Total Points @ -130
Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets Predictions
I can’t say I’m too mad that we are here for a game 7, despite the Jazz failing to close out the series last game. The electricity between these two teams and their respective stars has been awesome TV. Both teams seem more than content to let Murray and Mitchell go at it and see who wins after the dust settles. The Nuggets come in as a slight favorite to take the game and series, but it has that game 1 feel to it. After Denver held on in OT, we saw the Jazz respond with some commanding defeats. I like that to repeat here, especially after Denver got away with pushing around Utah up front. It was painfully obvious to all of us who took Utah in game 6 that nobody outside of Mike Conley was interested in helping Mitchell score. That is a key adjustment I expect to be made, allowing for somewhat of a more balanced attack.
Utah has a ton of pressure on them to avoid a 3-1 collapse, but Denver isn’t playing totally free either. Both teams – outside of their star scorers- are going to have to find some sense of consistency, be it from the arc or FT line, to be the difference in winning this game. If you are going to roll with the Jazz on the ML, which I love, why not double it down on the spread, where you are building a mini tower of victory. Jazz win outright, they certainly will take the +1 and hit as well. You are only going to lay 10 total points of juice for the two bets. It’s been a fun series and an amazing ride for Murray, but the story ends tonight for Denver. Roll with the Jazz.
PICK: Utah Jazz +1 @ -110
PICK: Utah Jazz ML @ +100