The only thing standing in the way of Toronto's first trip to the NBA Finals a year ago was Lebron James and the Cavs – who upended the Raptors 4-2 on their way to a Cleveland Championship. The two teams have reloaded and found themselves in a very similar situation as Round 2 tips off Monday night in Cleveland.
The Cavs are definitely the more rested team as they easily disposed of the Indiana Pacers in a four-game sweep in the 1st round. Toronto, on the other hand, showed some vulnerability as they were stretched to 6 games against the upstart Milwaukee Bucks. You could call this disparity rest – or you could call it rust as Cleveland will have been sitting out for an entire week before Monday's tip-off. It may be a great spot for the Raptors to steal one in this series.
Regardless of what may be considered struggles in the 1st round, Toronto advanced nonetheless winning the series against the Bucks 4 games to 2. That series was also relatively low scoring as the Under hit in 4 of the 6 games. Perhaps the best sign for Toronto was their return to home court dominance late in the series, winning game five 118-93 after dropping the opener at the Air Canada Centre.
Cleveland was efficiently dominant in their 4-0 2017 NBA playoff start. Granted they never won a single game over the Pacers by more than 6 points, but to be honest the outcome of any of those contests was never really in doubt.
The Bookies at Bovada have made Cleveland a -7 point favorite as they are betting on the veteran-laden team benefiting from the week of rest. The Cavs are 3-1 against Toronto on the season and their only loss was in the regular season finale where playoff positions had already been set. The totals also split at 2-2 during the regular season and Monday's number of 209 could really go either way.
Cleveland was dominant to open last year's conference finals matchups between the two teams. They were victorious in game one 115-84 and captured game two 108-89. After the Raptors tied up the series back in Toronto, the Cavs once again blew them out back in Cleveland 118-78.
Cleveland hasn't won a single playoff game by the 7 points they are favored by Monday. Even so, Toronto's absolutely atrocious playoff history in Cleveland means the Cavaliers -7 are the pick.