The Toronto Raptors (48-19) visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (16-50) on Monday in an Eastern Conference clash.
Cleveland will be counting down the days until the end of the regular season. The Cavs have failed to be competitive all season, and have won just 16 games so far, tied for the second lowest wins in the NBA. Cleveland has seen a small jump in their performance as of late, winning five of their last 10 games, the most productive stint of their season. This improvement coorilates directly to the return of power forward Kevin Love. Love, who has missed all but 13 games this season with injury, is averaging 18.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Love has scored 20+ points in four of his last five games, and will look to produce big again on Monday against the Raptors offensive-minded front court.
The Cavaliers have lost two in a row games, and are 5-5 in the last 10 games. Cleveland are 10-24 in 34 home games this season, and have gone 3-2 in their last five home games.
Cleveland Cavaliers Expected Starting Lineup
Brandon Knight, Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, Marquese Chriss
Larry Nance Jr. (Day-to-day : Chest), Matthew Dellavedova (Day-to-day : Concussion), Tristan Thompson (Out : Foot)
Cleveland Cavaliers Home NBA Form
|03.03.2019||WIN||Magic 93 – 107 Cleveland Cavaliers|
|02.03.2019||LOSS||Pistons 129 – 93 Cleveland Cavaliers|
|25.02.2019||LOSS||Trail Blazers 123 – 110 Cleveland Cavaliers|
|23.02.2019||WIN||Grizzlies 107 – 112 Cleveland Cavaliers|
|21.02.2019||WIN||Suns 98 – 111 Cleveland Cavaliers|
With the Milwaukee Bucks losing on Sunday, the Raptors have a chance to gain ground in the east. Toronto is now just two games back from the Bucks, and will be the heavy favorites against the Cavs on Monday. Kawhi Leonard has enjoyed his matchups with Cleveland, and is averaging 33.4 points in three games against the Cavs this season. Kyle Lowry has also performed at a high level against the Cavaliers. The point guard has only played one of the three games against Cleveland this season, and had a monster game with 27 points and 8 assists. Lowry, who is often overshadowed by Leonard and other Raptors, is having one of the best seasons in his 12 year career. Lowry has brought stability and creativity to the Raptors offense, and is leading the team in assists, averaging 9.1 assists. This is a career high for Lowry, who has never averaged more than 7.4 assists in his career before. Lowry has adjusted perfectly with the roster changes made by the Raptors this season, as he has become a more efficient and effective facilitator than he has ever been in his career. Look for this level of performance to continue for Lowry on Monday night, as well as into the postseason.
Toronto has been solid heading into Monday’s matchup. The Raptors have won two games in a row, and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Raptors have the second most away wins in the east, going 21-12 in 33 games away from home this season. Toronto is 4-1 in their last five away games.
Toronto Raptors Expected Starting Lineup
Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Fred VanVleet (Out : Thumb)
Toronto Raptors Away NBA Form
|10.03.2019||WIN||Toronto Raptors 125 – 104 Heat|
|08.03.2019||WIN||Toronto Raptors 127 – 104 Pelicans|
|03.03.2019||LOSS||Toronto Raptors 107 – 112 Pistons|
|09.02.2019||WIN||Toronto Raptors 104 – 99 Knicks|
|07.02.2019||WIN||Toronto Raptors 119 – 101 Hawks|
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 09:00 GMT 11/03/2019
- The Toronto Raptors have won the last three games against the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Toronto has trailed at the end of their first quarter in five of their last seven games
- The Raptors have won their last two games by an average of 22 points
Our Verdict and Best Bets
This game has the potential to be a trap game for Toronto, who will be playing their third straight road game. The Cavs have struggled to string together results all year, but have pulled some wins out of the bag at home in the last few weeks, and have the potential to upset the Raptors as well. The Raptors do have the advantage on the injury front, as the Cavs are missing big names like Larry Nance Jr. and Tristan Thompson. Expect this to be the difference, as the Cavs don’t have enough depth to hang with Toronto. Look for a close first half in this one, with the Raptors pulling away in the second half, winning by the spread.