Add Heat -2.5 vs. Raptors to NBA Picks Sunday

David Lawrence

Sunday, November 2, 2014 5:14 PM GMT

Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 5:14 PM GMT

Two teams who are in the Eastern Conference’s second tier will go head-to-head on Sunday. The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have both looked good to start the 2014-15 season. The Heat are a 2.5-point favorite on the NBA betting lines.

The Toronto Raptors Can Win Because…
They’ve looked great to start the season. So far, the Raptors hosted and defeated the Atlanta Hawks (109-102) and then stomped the Orlando Magic (108-95) last night. This is a team that has already shown they have excellent balance as at least 10 players have played at least 14 minutes in each of the first two games. This team runs 10-deep. The better news is that the inside game has looked very strong with Jonas Valanciunas nearing a double-double so far and the back court has been very good.

The Heat have looked better than expected too but they haven’t played anyone. They had two games against the shorthanded Washington Wizards and the hapless Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors will be their first test of the season and they’ll probably fail it. Although they have the home court advantage, Toronto is the more balanced, more complete of the two teams.

 

The Miami Heat Can Win Because…
They’re still a very good team. Although a lot of bettors have written this team off, so far this season, they’ve proven that the obituaries were premature. Chris Bosh has reemerged as an All-Star and he’s quickly shown just how overshadowed he was by LeBron James last season. Bosh averaged just 16.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists last year but he’s turned it up big time so far in the 2014-15 season. He’s averaging 28.0 PPG, 11.5 RPG and 4.0 APG and 1.5 SPG in the first two games of the season. Suffice to say, he could be the best player on the court on either side today and usually the team with the best player wins.

The Heat have had other guys step up too as Mario Chalmers had 20 against the Sixers and Norris Cole has 33 points in two games. This team still has plenty of talent, even if Bosh is gone, so lay the points here.

Read our NBA Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

Outlook
This is a tricky spot on the NBA betting odds as we’re going to find out which of these teams is for real. The Raptors have looked improved over last season’s unit and they appear to be playing cohesively and as well as they have in about 10 years. Meanwhile, the Heat have figured things out in the post-LeBron era as Bosh has looked phenomenal and the team has shown plenty of depth in the cast around him.

The challenge for the Raptors here is that they are in a back-to-back situation and are also on the road. Those two factors is what will make us lean towards the Heat. This should be a close game but add the Heat in this spot minus the points to your NBA picks.

Pick: Heat -2.5 at 5Dimes

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