Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets: Round 1, Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets NBA Playoffs Round 1
NBA Playoffs

A foot injury to Kyle Lowry couldn’t stop the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets. Toronto completed the sweep behind the best bench effort in NBA history with 100 points from its reserves Sunday. Norman Powell had 29 points and Serge Ibaka added 27 points and 15 rebounds to lead four reserves who finished in double figures for the Raptors. To add insult to injury, the Raptors shot 55.4 percent from the filed and made 22 of 47 3-pointers.

Toronto Raptors win 4-0

The Toronto Raptors were the better team in this series, and they proved that in all four games against the Brooklyn Nets. Even with Kyle Lowry not at his best offensively, the Raptors found other contributors to step up in a big way. The fact Toronto won Game 4 with such an explosion from the bench is a good sign moving forward, but the foot injury to Lowry could be a problem against Boston in the next round. Hopefully, Lowry is back at 100 percent so we can be treated to an exciting series with the Celtics.

Game 1

August 17th, 4 p.m., AdventHealth Arena

Two of the better NBA Eastern Conference teams in the bubble face off in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as the second-seeded Toronto Raptors and the No. 7 seed Brooklyn Nets. Both had winning records in the bubble and looked to be playing their best basketball at the tail end of the regular season heading into this postseason matchup. Brooklyn has won five of its last seven games, and nearly upset Portland in the finale on Thursday, while Toronto won seven of eight games while resting some players late in the season.

The scary part about the Raptors is that their best players haven’t all been in rhythm at the same time during the bubble. Kyle Lowry had a strong start to play in Orlando, but tailed off a little bit statistically over the last four games. Pascal Siakam’s offense has been inconsistent, but his defense and rebounding has been fairly steady. Fred VanVleet also had some sparks of great offensive potential, but didn’t shoot well over the last week or two. Yet Toronto still won seven of eight games in the bubble, a stretch that included wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks

After a loss we can chock up to shaking out the cobwebs, Brooklyn went on a tear over the final seven games in Orlando. The Nets won five of those games with a 34-point blowout loss to Boston and a one-point loss to Portland as the only blemishes. The common theme of those victories was the team aspect of Brooklyn’s offense led by Caris LeVert, who averaged 25 points in six games in the bubble.

Toronto is rightfully a heavy favorite in this series with the best odds being -3335 to advance to the next round. This is a series where it will pay for Brooklyn to steal a game because the Raptors sweep is listed at -134 while the Raptors winning the series 4-1 is listed at +190. Despite Brooklyn’s success in the bubble, it’s not worthwhile to believe it can win more than once in a series against Toronto, which is just clicking from the top of the roster to bottom at the moment.

A well-rested Toronto roster should easily breeze past Brooklyn in the opening game. The Raptors are listed as 10-point favorites at most New Jersey online sports betting sites, but the better bet is to wager on Toronto giving 10.5 points at +105 odds, a rare chance to actually make some money on this game or series. If you’re scared off by the spread, Toronto is listed at -455 odds to win straight up.

BET ON TORONTO RAPTORS TO WIN

 

Game 2 (Toronto Raptors lead 1-0)

August 19th, 1:30 p.m., The Field House

The Toronto Raptors continued to look in playoff form Monday as their offense came alive to soundly defeat the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of their NBA playoffs series.  Toronto had seven players in double figures, including Serge Ibaka’s 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Brooklyn couldn’t get its big scorers going on offense and fell behind too quickly to give it a chance to catch up in the game.

Toronto is a scary team to defend when Fred Van Vleet is shooting the ball as well as he shot it Monday in Game 1. He made 8-of-10 from behind the arc as part of his game-high 30 points and that type of rhythm translates to the rest of the team. Van Vleet also had a team-best 11 assists, which helped Toronto make a season-high 22 3-pointers in the win and set the franchise’s record for most 3s made in a playoff game.

Brooklyn’s lack of quality players on the bench proved to be the difference in Monday’s loss. Tyler Johnson was minus-29 in 17 minutes on the court, Donta Hall was minus-13 in seven minutes and Jeremiah Martin was minus-14 in eight minutes. Compare that to the Nets’ better starters Joe Harris – minus-2 in 33 minutes – and Caris LeVert – minus-5 in 35 minutes. The main positive for Brooklyn, though, was the play of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who scored a team-high 26 points off the bench.

It’s hard to envision Game 2 being much different that Game 1, and the New Jersey online sports betting sites agree. Toronto is an 11-point favorite and listed at -715 odds on the moneyline. To even move the odds into the positives, you’d had to bet Toronto giving up 12 points, but I’m going to press my luck and take the Raptors giving 14.5 points at +155 odds. Toronto is that much more talented than Brooklyn in this series, and the first game proved what type of damage the Raptors can do given how much deeper and more experienced they are than their opponents.

BET ON TORONTO RAPTORS TO WIN

Game 3 (Toronto Raptors lead 2-0)

August 21st, 1:30 p.m., The Field House

Nick Nurse was looking for a spark for the Toronto Raptors against the Brooklyn Nets, and he found it in a small-guy lineup. Nurse switched Pascal Siakam to center to counteract Brooklyn’s defensive strategy, and the Raptors responded with a dominant fourth quarter in pulling away for a victory. Toronto had three players finish with 20 or more points and it held the Nets to just 38.8 percent shooting in the game.

Norman Powell stole the show off the bench for Toronto in its small-ball lineup, scoring 24 points by making 10 of his 11 shots from inside the arc. Moving Siakam to center limited him to just six rebounds and 19 points, but it opened up the defense for Toronto. The Raptors held Brooklyn to just 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Toronto overcome a poor shooting performance from the perimeter. Toronto made just 25.7 percent of its 3-pointers, including Fred Van Vleet going 3-for-11 despite scoring 24 points in the win.

Brooklyn has to feel like it let an opportunity slip away after faltering late in the game. The Nets were winning despite a rough shooting night for Caris LeVert, who made just five of his 22 shots to finish with 16 points. They dominated the glass with a 46-36 edge led by Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris, who each collected 15 rebounds. Yet the Nets couldn’t get their best players to shoot well enough to hold off Toronto and now face a 2-0 hole without Harris, who left the bubble after Game 2 to deal with a personal problem.

Toronto is the defending champions for a reason, and the Raptors are continuing to prove that by finding new ways to win every game. The New Jersery online sports betting sites have installed the Raptors as 10.5-point favorites for Friday’s Game 3, but the moneyline is a bit more extreme at -530 odds. Even if the Nets were able to spark LeVert to better shooting performances, the Raptors’ ability to find different ways to win continues to impress. It won’t be a big money-making wager, but Toronto should win Game 3 comfortably to take commanding control of the series

BET ON TORONTO RAPTORS TO WIN

Game 4 (Toronto Raptors lead 3-0)

August 23rd, 6:30 p.m., The Field House

The final score was likely not indicative of the mismatch the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets were on Friday. The Raptors made 50.5 percent of their total shots, 47.4 percent of their 3s and collected a 56-42 advantage in rebounds. The Nets were 33.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from long range in yet another defeat. Brooklyn is just looking forward to going home to its families at this point it seems.

What makes Toronto so dangerous is just how well the Raptors play team basketball and don’t rely on one player. Four different players had at least five assists in the win as Toronto had 35 assists on 46 made baskets Friday. Serge Ibaka had a big night for Toronto with 20 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, the second-most points and most rebound he’s had in the bubble. The Raptors didn’t need Kyle Lowry to take more than seven shots, and instead he dished out seven assists and grabbed 10 rebounds of his own.

Brooklyn’s issue in Game 3 was that it’s top three scorers received absolutely no help at all. Tyler Johnson had 23 points, Caris LeVert had 15 and Chris Chiozza scored 14 points and all shot between 43-53 percent from the floor. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot made just three of his 18 shots and Garrett Temple was 2-for-12, which obviously will not get it done in any league no matter the level. That duo also made just three of 20 from behind the arc, accounting for half of the Nets’ missed 3-pointers. There’s no reason to break down the defensive woes when the offense is clearly  a bigger issue right now.

It isn’t worth it to bet on Toronto to win Game 4 and complete the sweep as the Raptors are -1000 on the board to win the game. It really becomes a situation where you need to continue to figure out where you feel the most comfortable along the spread betting on the Raptors to win at the New Jersey online sports betting sites. In order to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll need to have Toronto laying at least 13.5 points (+106 odds), but you can push it up to 19.5 points at +255 odds.

BET ON TORONTO RAPTORS TO WIN

 

NJ Legal Betting Sites

Betting Site
Bonus
Brand Features
Review
Bet Now
888Sport
$500 Free Bet
$500 Free Bet
Read Review
Sugar House Sportsbook
100% Up to $250
100% Up to $250
Read Review
FanDuel
Get A Risk Free Bet up to $500
Get A Risk Free Bet up to $500
Read Review
Borgata Sports
Risk Free First Bet up to $250
Risk Free First Bet up to $250
Read Review
BetMGM Sports
Deposit Match Up To $500
Deposit Match Up To $500
Read Review
Caesars Sportsbook
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
Read Review

Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

BACK TO TOP