The notion that the Toronto Raptors were ideally suited to shock the Philadelphia 76ers doesn’t look as ill-conceived as it did midway through the opening week of the playoffs. The Raptors have provided a good account of themselves thus far, but still sit just one game away from elimination.
The Sixers are currently slight Ontario sports betting favorites to end the series Thursday night.
Luckily for the Raptors, Game 6 will take place in Toronto, which means the Sixers are automatically without Matisse Thybulle because of his current vaccination status and Canada’s stance on the issue. Unfortunately, any advantage that could have been created by Thybulle’s absence has been offset by Fred VanVleet’s likely being out because of a left hip flexor strain.
Raptors vs. Sixers Series Schedule
- Game 1, April 16 in Philadelphia: Sixers 131, Raptors 111
- Game 2, April 18 in Philadelphia: Sixers 112, Raptors 97
- Game 3, April 20 in Toronto: Sixers 104, Raptors 101 in OT
- Game 4, April 23 in Toronto: Raptors 110, Sixers 102.
- Game 5, April 25 in Philadelphia: Raptors 103, Sixers 88 (Philadelphia leads series, 3-2).
- Game 6: Thursday, 7 p.m., in Toronto.
- Game 7: If necessary, April 30, TBD, in Philadelphia.
What are the Ontario Sports Betting Odds?
According to FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario, the Sixers are slight favorites to close out their series tonight.
Philadelphia has odds of -122 on the moneyline, and a miniscule -1.5 spread with odds of -112. The logic behind these odds is fair — the Sixers have the MVP elect in their ranks, and he’s been dominant for most of the series, while Toronto’s floor general will be watching in street clothes from the sidelines.
Of course, Rookie of the Year winner Scottie Barnes is always a risk for opposing teams, but the Sixers’ depth and defensive specialists should be able to limit his impact in the clutch. Could we finally see Pascal Siakam have a career-defining postseason game? It’s possible, but also unlikely.
Coming into the season, the Raptors were considered to be a rebuilding team, so making it this far, and pushing the Sixers this deep into the series is already a win for them — anything beyond this point is simply playing with house money.
When looking around for different odds, it seems all bookmakers have a similar train of thought, with BetMGM and PointsBet Canada also expecting a close-fought contest that ultimately sees the Sixers come out victorious.
But, if you want a longer shot, or truly believe in the Raptors Thursday night, you can get +104 odds on the moneyline and -108 on covering a +1.5 spread.
Some Wagers to Consider
Tyrese Maxey has been on fire recently, but the pressure of Thursday night’s game could weigh heavily on him — even if the outcome isn’t resting solely on his shoulders. With that in mind, along with his young age, and the inconsistencies that come with that, taking a -116 single-game bet on him scoring less than 18.5 points could be considered smart money, and FanDuel Sportsbook will have you covered.
Or perhaps you like to live on the edge and embrace the notion of a floor-stretching big man, and the value they add. If that’s the case, then Joel Embiid to score more than 1.5 three-pointer is going to net you odds of +146, and screams value for money considering how well he’s been playing across all three levels throughout the series.
What Happens if Toronto Wins?
If the Raptors claw their way to victory in front of their home crowd, then the series will head back to Philadelphia for Game 7. The thing about playing against young teams, is that they don’t know when they’re supposed to lose (Toronto was a decided underdog in Game 5), and play with an incredible amount of freedom. And as we’ve seen throughout the series, that can be a thorn in the side of a veteran team looking to make light work of their opening round so to conserve energy moving forward.
Even the sportsbooks are unsure of what way Game 6 could go, hence the short spreads, there’s every reason to believe that Toronto stands a chance of heading back to Philadelphia later this week, and potentially winning the series outright.
And, in case you’re wondering, you can get +450 odds on the Raptors turning the tide and winning this series, while the Sixers are still favorites with -650. Still, a two-game swing in the playoffs isn’t unheard of, even if they are a rarity.