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76ers vs. Raptors Game 3 Betting Preview: First-Half NBA Playoffs Trend That Favors Toronto

76ers vs. Raptors Game 3 Betting Preview: First-Half NBA Playoffs Trend That Favors Toronto article feature image
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The battered Toronto Raptors didn’t provide much resistance to the Philadelphia 76ers in either of the first two games of their playoff series, but one historical trend is in their favor for Wednesday’s Game 3.

The Raptors dropped both games in Philadelphia by double-digits, failing to cover in either game. Now they head home as 1.5-point underdogs desperate for a win.

Down 0-2, you already know the cliches. It’s a must-win, do-or-die time. The Raptors will play desperate. They’ll be hungry. They’ll want it more.

Blah, blah, blah. But…are the cliches true?

According to Bet Labs, teams down 0-2 in a playoff series since 2005 are, in fact, more desperate. Those teams trailing the series play better early in Game 3, covering the first-half spread 64 percent of the time (93-54-3).

The Raptors are 0.5-point underdogs first-half dogs on Wednesday.

Returning to Toronto will cost Philadelphia one of its key pieces in Matisse Thybulle, who is ineligible to play due to the vaccine requirements. However, Thybulle only played 10 minutes in the Game 2 win, and Toronto will have more injuries to overcome.

Rookie of the Year candidate Scottie Barnes is doubtful, and Gary Trent Jr. is questionable after leaving Game 2 with a non-COVID illness.

Playing at home hasn’t been a significant advantage for the Raptors, at least from a betting market perspective. Toronto is 21-20 against the spread at home and 4-4 as a home underdog.

They’ve bounced back well, covering 58.8 percent of the time after a loss. Of course, they did not cover Game 2 following a Game 1 loss.

Some trends aren’t exactly in Philadelphia’s favor either. The 76ers are 11-13-1 as road favorites.

The Raptors have trailed by double-digits at halftime in each of the first two games in the series.

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