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NBA Playoffs Tips: Raptors are value to fight back in game three

Can the King keep his stunning form going?
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The team at AccuScore have crunched the numbers and run 10,000 simulations on each of tonight's NBA games to come up with the following predictions...

"James is playing at levels few - if any - have ever reached in the history of the NBA Playoffs. Unless something changes in Game 3, Toronto will soon be on their summer holidays."

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors, Game 3
Saturday, 00:05


After getting smashed in Game 2 and thoroughly outplayed in Game 1, the Toronto Raptors head home to Canada with hopes to make it a series. This is an absolute must-win for the Raptors as there is surely no way back from 3-0 to the defending champions.

It's easy to understand why Toronto have been wholly outmatched thus far. LeBron James has been playing on another planet during the series - the 32-year-old passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to move into second place on the all-time NBA Playoffs scoring list behind only Michael Jordan during Game 2.

But James does much more than simply score the basketball. Heading into Game 3, James and the Cavs are 6-0 to start the playoffs for the second year in a row, and "King James" is averaging 34.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.8 blocks, along with shooting a ridiculous 48.4 percent from beyond the three-point line and 56.6 percent from the field as whole. In short, James is playing at levels few - if any - have ever reached in the history of the NBA Playoffs. Unless something changes in Game 3, Toronto will soon be on their summer holidays.

Betfair Odds Breakdown
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 4/6 to win on the moneyline, while the Toronto Raptors are 13/10 to win straight up. Betfair offers a +2.0 handicap for the Raptors at home at 9/10 and conversely, the Cavaliers pay out 20/21 for -2.0 handicap. The total points line is 214.5, with the OVER paying out 9/10 and the UNDER paying out 20/21.

AccuScore Odds Value Analysis
Although LeBron James has been playing out of his skin, AccuScore's computer thinks that James and the Cavs are due to slow down just a bit. The computer gives the Raptors a 60.2% chance of winning Game 3 on their home court, so the 13/10 moneyline odds Betfair is offering look like they have a fair bit of value. AccuScore also thinks that the scoring is due to slow down, as 56.9% of its 10,000 computer simulations finished with the game finishing Under the 214.5 total points line. AccuScore calculated that the total points line should be 210.5.

San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets, Game 3
Saturday, 02:40

In Game 2, the San Antonio Spurs adjusted brilliantly to the Houston Rockets' barrage in Game 1. The series is now tied at 1-1 and this is a statement game for both teams. The Rockets taking a 2-1 lead would instantly pile pressure on the Spurs, but San Antonio takes a proud 30-11 regular season road record to Houston with an eye to reclaiming home court advantage. Assisting the Spurs' confidence is the fact that San Antonio won three of four regular season meetings against the Rockets, including both meetings in Houston.

However, one major setback for San Antonio is the leg injury to point guard Tony Parker, who will now miss the remainder of the postseason. What does that mean? Backup point guard Patty Mills will need to step up, but more than anything else, Kawhi Leonard will need to carry even more of the load through the Spurs' postseason run. Leonard scored 34 points on 13-16 shooting, passed out eight assists, grabbed seven rebounds and swiped three steals in Game 2.

Betfair Odds Breakdown
Betfair lists moneyline odds at Houston Rockets 1/2 and San Antonio Spurs at 13/8. Betfair's handicap odds are listed at -4.5 points for the Rockets at home offering 9/10, while the Spurs at +4.5 are offering 20/21. The total points line is 215.5, with the OVER paying out 9/10 and the UNDER paying out 20/21.

AccuScore Odds Value Analysis
AccuScore performed 10,000 statistically-based simulations in its mathematical model to find value against Betfair's odds, and according to the computer, the Spurs are 49.7% to win, which means there is value on the moneyline at 6/4. Predictably, there is also value on the Spurs +4.5, as 61.3% of simulations finished with the Spurs either winning or losing by four or fewer points. The handicap play is AccuScore's suggestion on this game. The computer calculated the game going Under 215.5 points in 50.6% of simulations, but that is not offering any notable value on the 20/21 payout.

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