O/U NBA Picks: Poor Offense Makes Raptors vs. Heat An 'Under'

Friday, May 13, 2016 5:04 PM GMT

The Toronto Raptors have been playing some ugly basketball, but the Miami Heat have been uglier, and Friday night's NBA odds are moving toward the Raps for Game 6.

And the follies continue. The Toronto Raptors (–4.5 at home) held on to beat the Miami Heat 99-91 Wednesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal. We officially had UNDER 188.5 here at the ranch, and it was looking pretty good for a while, until Miami made its requisite fourth-quarter push. Oh well.

The UNDER might still be the right call for Friday night's Game 6 (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN). According to our consensus reports, 62 percent of early bettors were on the UNDER at a total of 190 points. That's encouraging. Meanwhile, the consensus has been wavering with the point spread, but the Raptors are pulling in 52 percent at press time, moving from +4.5 to +4 on our NBA odds board.

Crystal Wrists
Aside from the totals dropping five points or more since the playoffs started, the dynamic is still there to produce a profit margin for the UNDER. It's hard to score when the players keep crashing into each other – and into photographers, in the case of Miami SF Luol Deng (17.1 PER, +5.4 BPM in the postseason). Deng is questionable for Game 6 after hurting his left wrist; he was due for an MRI on Thursday, but Deng seemed pretty confident he'd play Friday.


Naturally, the Raptors lost their starting 3-and-D guy not long after Deng's departure. DeMarre Carroll (10.8 PER, +1.8 BPM) fell to the floor after a collision and took some of the weight on his left wrist, leaving Carroll writhing in pain. He didn't return to the game, but after tests showed nothing worse than a contusion, Carroll declared himself fit for Game 6. The Raptors are marking him down as “questionable” just the same.

Laces Out
Then you have DeMar DeRozan (11.3 PER, –4.3 BPM) and his right thumb, which he literally kept together with a shoelace during Game 5. DeRozan still managed to score 34 points, shooting 11-of-22 from the floor and 11-of-11 from the foul line. Much better shot selection in this game. Kyle Lowry (13.1 PER, +2.6 BPM) had 25 points, but he took 25 shots to get there. Good thing he was 4-of-9 from long range.

I've been a bit sour about these guys lately, and I apologize. They're hurt, they're under pressure, and they don't have Jonas Valanciunas (27.7 PER, +5.1 PER), who was playing at an MVP level before spraining his right ankle. The Heat have it worse without Hassan Whiteside (24.5 PER, +5.1 PER) and... what was his name again? Oh yeah, Chris Bosh (20.2 PER, +2.1 BPM during the regular season. It's a hard-knock life. Let's try to exploit that some more with our NBA picks, but keep the bet size small to match these lower totals, and may the sphere be with you.

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Free NBA Pick: UNDER 190
Best Line Offered: at Bovada
Record: 37-41-1 ATS, 13-7-1 Total