The Conference Finals have continued to be a barren wasteland for The Big Dog… but no single loss appeared to be a more fitting microcosm for what has been a very tough season, than Game 5 of this series. With the Cleveland Cavaliers rolling to a huge blowout victory, coach Tyronn Lue chose to rest his “big three” for the whole fourth quarter. Unfortunately for The Big Dog, that included Kyrie Irving… who only needed two more points to secure a win. With that pain serving as motivation to search even harder for value, it’s on to Game 6 in Toronto. Will the Cavaliers close out a series that was never supposed to get this far… or is there another twist in the tale?
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Toronto Raptors
The Big Dog loves a sporting twist… and this Eastern Conference Finals series has delivered that, in spades. Through five games, the home side has dominated at an almost ridiculous level, winning by an average of 21.8 points. While the Cavaliers have been responsible for the biggest of the five winning margins, the fact remains that the Raptors bounced back from being hammered in the first two games, to win Game 3 by 15 points. The home side is now 8-0 between these two franchises, with three of Toronto’s four wins coming by six points or less. Game 3 was a clear exception to the rule and it would be highly unlikely to see something like that again, given the catalyst for that big win was a 26-rebound performance from Bismack Biyombo. The Big Dog is subscribing to the old adage of “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” and refusing to write off a Raptors team that are exponentially more confident, dangerous and downright formidable at home. Bookmakers seem less keen to observe the trend between these two teams and have installed Cleveland as heavy favourites. That presents outstanding value when looking at Toronto, either straight-out or in margin markets. This game will be in the balance at various stages but ultimately, The Big Dog is highly confident that we’re going to see a Game 7, on Monday morning.
Toronto Raptors 1-10 (Margin) @ $4.25 (CrownBet)