The NBA has moved with the times and the playoffs will have a slightly different feel about it with the play-in tournament followed by the first round ties. Anyway, the West Conference opening round pits the Philadelphia 76ers against the Toronto Raptors. As always, it’s a best-of-seven game series affair, and it has all the ingredients to be a classic.
The 76ers mean business and as always, Joel Embiid will be instrumental. A quick glance at his 2021/2022 regular season stats confirms this:
- 68 – Number of games played by Embiid this season
- 30.6 – Embiid’s average points per game ratio
- 9.6 – Dribbles per match
- 11.7 – Rebounds per game
Perhaps one of the most storied encounters in NBA history, the Raptors and the 76ers always throws up some fascinating clashes. With that in mind, we have picked out a couple of tips for you to pore over ahead of the latest instalment on Saturday evening.
Toronto Raptors to take an early lead in series
So, if we take a cursory glance at the head-to-head record, it makes good reading for those associated with the Raptors. The Raptors have faced the 76ers in 103 regular season games and the Raptors have fared better, prevailing on 63 occasions.
It seems strange to think that the Raptors stormed to NBA glory in 2019 back in the days when they had leading lights like Kawhi Leonard pummelling teams. Though there may not be many household names on the Raptors starting roster, they are a well-drilled unit.
Although the Raptors have got the better of the 76ers during regular season games, it may come as a surprise that the 76ers are currently heavy favorites with SugarHouse to win the first game of the series. However, if you wish to deviate from that, then you can back the Raptors at +155 to take the spoils in the opening game.
Tobias Harris to tear things up
While there have been murmurings of concern about how well the 76ers will travel in the playoffs, including from the likes of NBA legend Magic Johnson, the 76ers do still have some flair players in their team. While the likes of Embiid and James Harden will usually take most of the plaudits and steal the limelight, Tobias Harris will be a pivotal figure.
Although his efforts could well come in a losing cause, Harris may prove to be very productive from an attacking sense. SugarHouse is offering relatively short odds of -121 for him to drain Over 24.5 points during regular time, so this could be worth exploring further.
Toronto Raptors to get off to a lightning-quick start
The Raptors always provide lots of entertainment and the scoring markets can provide some joy. We quite like the look of the Quarter Markets and this is where some teams can go on a mini burst and drain a few three-pointers.
If you fancy the Raptors to race to 10 points first in the second quarter, then you can get odds of +102 with SugarHouse for them to do so, so it could be worth jumping on board with this intriguing line.