Thanks to an ugly performance in Game 4, some members of the Toronto Raptors faithful have already started to slowly reach their collective fingers towards the panic button as the series shifts back to Canada knotted at two. But before you pick up a fresh supply of Pepto Bismol, consider this: oddsmakers in Las Vegas are still projecting a series victory for the Dinos, and they don't expect it to be close.
Sin City sports books have opened the Raptors as 7-point favourites for Game 5, which goes on Tuesday. To put that into perspective, the Raps were 1-point underdogs in Game 3 (a 101-85 victory) and 1-point faves for Game 4 (a 100-83 loss). The -7 number is obviously due to home court advantage, but as we've learned in the past, home court does not guarantee anything for this franchise.
The over/under has been set at 192 -- the lowest it's been all series. Due to a litany of offensive issues on both sides, each contest has gone under the closing total so far.
The most telling betting-related option is the huge discrepancy in series price. Toronto is currently -440 to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, while Indy's chances come in at +269. That means if you risked $100 on the Raptors to advance, you would collect $23. If you wagered $100 on Indiana to get to the next round, your reward would be $269.
Toronto entered the playoffs with a 5/1 shot to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, and books have not adjusted that price despite the struggles of top players Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. The Pacers have remained 50/1 long shots to win the conference.
Obviously the favoured team doesn't always win, as we've seen underdogs step up to the plate time and time again in NBA postseason history. Vegas sports books are notoriously accurate in their prognostications, however, and the odds are clearly in Toronto's favour with the biggest game of the year coming up.