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Eytan Shander is back with his plays for Thursday's NBA playoffs

It’s hard to imagine having the regular season the Raptors enjoyed – right through the restart in the Bubble – only to have their backs to the wall this early. But such is life against Boston, as Toronto’s fate appears to be sealed by the Celtics. Denver put in everything to survive a game 7 against the Jazz. Their reward is a rested Clippers team that look refocused after an early stumble against Dallas.

Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors

BET: Over 215.5 @  -121

This game has Raptors written all over it, but I can’t help noticing how that would feed into the over. If you believe Toronto bounces back, or at least keeps it close down to the wire, then both teams should be able to score. Boston got up when Toronto malfunctioned on offense, still pushing a decent total. It’s far more likely that the Raptors get much better productivity out of their two guards, hit more shots from the outside, and get to the line more than Boston missing everything. The Celtics have been overachieving all season and zero reason to think an early series lead would cause nerves. The Raptors aren’t going to play tight either. The game should provide a great flow to it, as both teams should push for early 3’s. Be it high scoring or long misses into transition, I like the tempo playing out for most of the game, hitting that over!

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

BET: Over 223.5 @ +100

BET: Nuggets to Win 4Q @ +123

These two teams definitely got here by nearly opposite means, at least by overall scores. Denver is just two days removed from a game 7 battle, in which they survived yet another low scoring affair. Meanwhile the Clippers took a couple of days off after seeing the emergence of Paul George. Better late than never for LA and PG. Tonight is all about what transfers over and what fizzled out in the first round. Nikola Jokic – not Jamal Murray – took over the final game last round, but he’s yet to do that all season against the Clips. It’s also difficult to put a ton of trust in George, as it took him until nearly the end of the first round to come alive. A couple of days off might reverse that effect.

The lack of rest of Denver actually helps them tonight, in a couple of ways but starting with the overall spread. It’s a huge number to cover against a Nuggets team that can get offense in a hurry from the outside. Jokic and Murray lead a team capable of keeping up with the Clippers – at least to the point where a late run covers this number – and can slow things down by getting to the FT line. They don’t need to win the game, nor really keep it that close for the first couple of


Almost there!

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