The second round of the NBA playoffs is set—who are the favorites? We preview the matchups and the lines.
The Cleveland Cavaliers dispatched the Toronto Raptors in six games in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals last season en route to a championship. LeBron James and company will face the Raptors one round earlier this spring, opening the second-round set at home on Monday night as the 6.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Cleveland took care of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, sweeping that set after they'd lost their final four games of the regular season to slip to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. That span included a 98-93 loss to Toronto in their regular season finale.
The Cavaliers, though, paid off only once against the Pacers, covering as a 1.5-point favorite in their 119-14 Game 3 road victory. Cleveland went 0-2-1 against the spread in its other three games against Indiana in the first round, and they're only 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games.
Toronto lost two of its first three games against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, failing ATS in all three contests. The Raptors, though, found their game after that, going 3-0 both straight up and ATS to close out the Bucks in six games and advance to face the Cavaliers.
Cleveland is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS over its last 10 games against Toronto, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, and 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS over their last six meetings. The Cavs host Games 1 and 2 of the set on Monday and Wednesday, with Game 3 in Toronto on Friday.
The other Eastern Conference second-round series has the top-seeded Boston Celtics taking on the fourth-seeded Washington Wizards, with Boston winning Game 1 on Sunday 123-111 as a 4.5-point home favorite. Game 2 of that series is set for Tuesday night at TD Garden.
In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors finally found out their second-round opponent on Sunday, as the Utah Jazz topped the Los Angeles Clippers 104-91 in Game 7 of their first-round set as 3.5-point road dogs. Stephen Curry and company are -200 favorites on the odds to win the NBA championship and are back in action on Tuesday hosting Game 1. Golden State hosts Game 2 on Thursday before hitting the road for Game 3 on Saturday.
And the San Antonio Spurs will host the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their second-round series on Monday night, with the Spurs set as 6-point home favorites for the contest after they needed six games to get past the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. James Harden and the Rockets took on the Oklahoma City Thunder last round, winning that series in just five games.
San Antonio has the overall edge at 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games against Houston, and 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in the last three meetings between the teams. San Antonio will then host Game 2 on Wednesday night, with the Rockets hosting Game 3 on Friday night.