Two bets on Philadelphia

One of my favorite axioms in sports betting is to avoid the public underdog, and that phrase couldn’t be more relevant than it was in the Raptors-76ers series. The Raptors are the trendy choice to piss off the 76ers among fans, analysts, scouts and bettors. I personally don’t buy it.

A few things in life are guaranteed: death, taxes, and the Raptors’ defeat in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Since 1995, the Raptors have made 12 postseason appearances. They lost Game 1 in 11 of those 12 series. Past trends aside, the 76ers are the far more talented team, and have Joel Embiid, the series’ top player and a finalist for league MVP for the past two seasons.

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The Raptors don’t have any big ones to defend Embiid. And with James Harden playing alongside Embiid, the 76ers rank first in free throw percentage (23.3 percent) and have attempted 28.2 free throws per game since the All-Star break. The Raptors rank 21st in opposing free throw rate (20), so expect the 76ers to get to the line at will.

The games: 76ers -4.5 in Game 1 and -200 to win streaks (BetMGM). Two bets on Philadelphia


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