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October 1, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets

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John Minchillo / AP

Spectators head towards Barclays Center for a preseason NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, in New York.

You’re stuck with me for the next several days.

Below is my second of five straight Play of the Day, which features odds from the South Point, entries while opponents Taylor Bern and Ray Brewer are away on vacation. I’m currently 0-5 on wagers that could have set me over the starting bankroll of $10,000 but quitting was never presented as an option.

Toronto Raptors plus-5 at Brooklyn Nets: $440 to win $400

Not every team trailing 3-2 in a first-round NBA Playoff series can stave off elimination, right? Those at risk went 3-for-3 last night.

Friday’s first contest should put an end to the season-prolonging wins. I keep hearing reports that the Nets are a better team than the Raptors.

In what world? Or better yet, in what sport? Come to think of it, Brooklyn’s roster of leisure-minded old guys would probably post as an even bigger favorite in a golf scramble against Toronto’s young, hungry core.

In basketball, this point spread doesn’t work. Aside from an impressive performance in Game 1 when all their stars were well rested, Brooklyn has gotten smothered by Toronto.

The Raptors have won three of four games, covering in all but Wednesday’s tiff when the Nets came back from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter to lose by two as a 3-point underdog.

Bet Brooklyn is now wishing it wouldn’t have tanked at the end of the season to play Toronto in the first round instead of Chicago. Bet the Nets also wished they employed a coach who could have used an 86-game sample to figure out his ideal rotation.

Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd still seems to have little inkling of which lineups work the best together. Toronto coach Dwane Casey is in much more command of his team.

The Raptors thrive playing off of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the most underrated guard pair in the league. Averaging a combined 46 points and eight assists in the postseason, Lowry and DeRozan are too much for the Nets.

They’re poised to send Brooklyn to the links.

Standings: Bern (21-16-1, $10,600), Keefer (19-20, $9,608), Brewer (15-20-3, $6,595)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer

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