If the oddsmakers are right, we could be in for an exciting and long series between the Toronto Raptors and the Sixers.
With both teams disposing of their first-round opponents in convincing fashion in the fifth game, the odds are set for a clash of Eastern Conference titans that could go the distance.
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According to DraftKings, the Raptors are -200 favorites to win the series, meaning a $200 bet would return a total of $300. They have the Sixers listed at +150, meaning a $100 bet would return $250.
There are also odds available on DraftKings on the correct series score. The Raptors winning in seven games is the most likely outcome at +300. The second most likely outcome of the series is a Raptors win in five games, at +400, followed by a Sixers win in six, at +450.
The Sixers are now 20/1 to win the title, so a $100 bet would return a total of $2,100 for you to celebrate with as the Sixers parade down Broad Street.
Now, there are a few things to consider. First of all, there's homecourt advantage. The Raptors have it and they were 32-9 at home this season. Typically, you'd then look at the head-to-head matchup for clues, but in this case, it feels irrelevant.
The Raptors won the season series 3-1, but a deeper look would remind you that the Sixers' victory came against a Raptors team without their best player, Kawhi Leonard, and the three Raptors wins came against the Sixers before their trade for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.
Finally, it's important to note that the Sixers have never, ever beaten Leonard, dating back 13 meetings over the last eight years.
So, if you like the Raptors, it seems logical to make the bet on DraftKings now before Game One, where they're favored by five points, and if you like the Sixers, it would make sense to wait and make your wager on FanDuel. While the series odds are not out yet on FanDuel, the Sixers are 26/1 to win the title on there as opposed to 20/1 on DraftKings. You might be able to get slightly better odds on the Sixers on there once the series odds are posted.
Either way, we expect a physical, fiery series between two teams who made upgrades for this kind of opportunity to advance in the playoffs.
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