The Toronto Raptors managed to save their season on Saturday but face a daunting task to do the same Monday night.
The Raptors were able to overcome a hip injury suffered by All-Star guard Fred VanVleet in Game 4, using a dominant fourth quarter to pull away and secure a 110-102 victory to close the series to 3-1 overall.
No team in NBA history has come back from being down 3-0 to win a series, though Nick Nurse’s team will try to make history this week.
Saturday’s victory in Game 4 was spurred on by Pascal Siakam, who scored 34 points in the win, with teammate Gary Trent Jr. adding 24 more for Toronto.
Toronto was also helped by the return of NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, who came off the bench to score six points and grab 11 rebounds. He sprained his left ankle in Game 1 and had not played since.
The Raptors and Sixers will square off from the City of Brotherly Love at 8 p.m. Eastern time Monday, in a game that’ll be televised nationally by NBA TV.
Raptors Heavy Underdogs in Game 5
A quartet of Ontario sports betting operators see the Raptors as heavy underdogs in Philly on Monday night.
BetMGM Ontario gives the Raptors the best odds of the group (+7.5 and +260), while DraftKings Sportsbook (+8 and +270), Caesars Sportsbook (+8 and +280), and FanDuel Sportsbook (+9 and +270) see Toronto as bigger underdogs.
It’ll be interesting to see if Nurse’s squad can keep its momentum going in Game 5, with VanVleet officially ruled out for the contest and Joel Embiid expected to play for Philadelphia. Embiid suffered a right thumb injury during the first half of Game 3 in Toronto. He wore a brace on it in Game 4.
The Sixers will return defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle, who missed Games 3 and 4 in Toronto because he’s not fully vaccinated. The only member of the Sixers who’s been ruled out come Monday night is center Charles Bassey.
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 (Philadelphia leads series, 3-1).
- Game 5: Today, 8 p.m., in Philadelphia.
- Game 6: If necessary, April 28, TBD, in Toronto.
- Game 7: If necessary, April 30, TBD, in Philadelphia.
Raptors Among Title Longshots on Ontario Sportsbooks
The Raptors’ odds of advancing past the Sixers may be slim, but their NBA title odds are even slimmer.
Toronto finds itself among the lowest teams in the 16-team postseason, odds-wise, with FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario listing the Raptors last on their title odds board at +49000.
Other sites don’t have much faith in the squad, either, with BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook Ontario and DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario listing Toronto at +40000 to win the 2022 NBA title.
For now, the Raptors face a “win or go home” game in Philadelphia on Monday night, looking to come one step closer to achieving a bit of NBA history in the process.