• @WizeOwlSports

2021-22 NBA Playoffs: Philadelphia 76ers @ Toronto Raptors, Game 3

Betting Sixers assume a commanding series lead in game 3: Philly -1.5

The fourth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in their opening series of the NBA postseason versus the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers beat the dinos by 20 Saturday, as five-point favorites, and won Monday's follow-up contest by 15, again easily covering the 7.5 points of chalk.

The spread for Wednesday's meeting is down to 1.5 though when the series heads to Canada, despite Toronto starters Scottie Barnes cropping up on the injury list as doubtful (after missing Monday's action due to an ankle injury) and Gary Trent, Jr.'s questionable listing.

[IR update: as of April 20, Gary Trent, Jr. has been upgraded to probable, while the Sixers' Charles Bassey is out with a shoulder injury.]

We are backing Philly as slight favorites, as history suggests the 76ers are likely to hammer a nail in the Raptors' coffin tomorrow.

Home teams taking points just after SU underdog losses have proven solid fades in the NBA playoffs.

Betting against teams in this spot, like the Raptors, has delivered a 15% return on investment since 2004-05.

This system is 2-1 versus the number so far this season.


Note: While our preferred play is on the Sixers to cover the full game spread, Raptors faithful looking to zig-zag after the game 2 loss might be best served to consider Toronto against the first half number.

Teams down 0-2 in NBA postseason series tend to come out swinging in an effort to avoid the insurmountable 0-3 deficit (no team has won a series after an 0-3 start). However, given the extreme talent differentials common especially in the earlier rounds of playoff action, teams in this unenviable position have not demonstrated an edge over the course of the full game (since the 2004-05 postseason squads are 42-43 SU / 42-42-1 ATS in first round game three's after being shut out through the first two contests).

Backing 0-2 teams to cover the first half spread in game 3 has delivered a 21% long-term return on investment.

And even though this angle has fares the worst in the early going of the postseason (again, likely owing to the severe disparities in talent that commonly attend initial playoff matchups), it has been good for a solid 14% ROI, on a 50-34-1 record, in the first round.

Happy betting!!