76ers vs. Raptors Game 4 Preview: Will the Sixers Complete the Sweep in Toronto?

Action Network analyst Joe Dellera previews Game 4 of the 76ers vs. Raptors series, including his betting pick.

76ers vs. Raptors Odds

76ers Odds -3.5 (-105)
Raptors Odds +3.5 (-115)
Over/Under 213.5 (-115/-105)
Time 2 p.m. ET
Odds via <!–BetMGM–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The 76ers won Game 3 in thrilling fashion with as Joel Embiid hit a buzzer-beater three in overtime to secure the win and (more importantly) cover Sixers -2. Now, Philadelphia is in position to close out the series and sweep the Raptors in Toronto.

Will game 4 be a reenactment of 66 million years ago as the 76ers send the dinosaurs to extinction? Or can Fred VanVleet and the Raptors extend the series?

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How Healthy is Joel Embiid?

The 76ers will once again be without Matisse Thybulle because he is not fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. However, the bigger news is that MVP candidate Joel Embiid is experiencing pain in his right thumb and may need an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.

Despite this, Embiid is listed as available and has expressed a desire to play in Game 4. His availability would dramatically affect this line, but even if he is unable to play, the 76ers played roughly .500 ball without him this season.

The 76ers grasped a victory out of thin air in Game 3, though the primary takeaway is that this team never quits and the Raptors simply do not have the firepower to keep them down — even when the 76ers’ offense fails to score efficiently.

So far, through three games, the Sixers are scoring 129.2 points while allowing just 113.9. They’ve been absolutely dominant on both sides of the floor, which has led them to the best point differential in the playoffs at +15.3, per Cleaning the Glass.

Back to Embiid’s injury though.

Embiid is a classic jokester, but this injury is to his shooting hand, which may impact his finishing, handling and overall ability with the basketball. In other words, I expect him to defer to Tyrese Maxey, James Harden and Tobias Harris on the offensive end.

Maxey’s current points prop is set at 18.5 and he’s cleared this in all three games this series and in seven of his past 10 games. Maxey has taken 21, 11 and 18 field goal attempts, while making 14, 8 and 8. His points over is absolutely a play and is only bolstered by the question marks surrounding Embiid’s hand.

Do the Raptors Have Enough Offense?

The Raptors desperately needed Game 3 to stand a real chance in this series and almost pulled off the upset. Now, they may still be without rookie sensation Scottie Barnes (ankle), who is listed as doubtful for Game 4.

The Raptors have struggled to find consistent offense this series and have averaged just 103 points per game. Toronto has an eFG% of 52.8%, which is actually better than its season-long mark of 51.2%, which was the fourth-worst in the league.

It’s difficult to beat a team that can dominate on the interior and the 76ers are averaging about eight more rebounds per game than the Raptors and 11 more free throws per game during this series. Couple this with the inefficiencies in the Raptors’ shot selection and everything needs to break perfectly to stand a chance.

Barnes played just one game, but the Raptors scored 132.8 points per 100 possessions while he was on the floor. Without him? Just 108.7 points per 100. Even if he does return for this game, we cannot expect him to be 100%.

76ers-Raptors Pick

Despite the injury to Embiid, he is geared up to play and the 76ers have enough other options on offense that they can survive any inefficiencies he may have.

The Raptors have been outgunned this entire series and they simply do not have the offensive firepower or the defensive weapons to matchup against Embiid, Harden, Maxey and Harris. The 76ers are beating Toronto in every aspect of the game and it’s a circumstance where I do not think Nick Nurse has any other tricks left up his sleeve. The Raptors threw their best punch in Game 3 and came up just short.

The 76ers will secure the series sweep, both straight up and against the spread.

Pick: 76ers -2.5 | Tyrese Maxey over 18.5 Points