Add Raptors -5 Over Pacers to NBA Picks as Toronto Focuses on Playoff Seeding

Darin Zank

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:13 PM GMT

Toronto is battling for good playoff seeding, while Indiana is struggling through a lost season, The Raptors, 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings with the Pacers.

Raptors-Pacers Betting Odds
Most of the NBA betting odds market opened this game with Toronto favored by three or 3.5 points, with a total of around 194. In the early betting the spread was holding steady, while the total got bumped to 195.

 

Raptors-Pacers: Background
Toronto had been scuttling a bit, going through a 2-7 stretch a while back, but it just went 2-1 on a three-game road trip, beating Milwaukee, losing at Memphis, then beating Philadelphia. The Raptors then just began a home-stand with a 114-110 victory over Detroit Sunday night, although they couldn't cover as eight-point favorites.

Toronto led basically the entire way Sunday night, but never by too much. In the end the Raptors let the Pistons get within a bucket with about a minute to go, then made seven of eight free-throws down the stretch to secure the victory. But playing at home, the line was probably inflated by a bucket or so, and Toronto came up five points short of the cover.

The Raptors shot 53 percent from the floor and committed just eight turnovers.

Toronto had been a great bet for most of this season, through Christmas; but the Raptors have been a lousy bet lately, going 2-10-1 ATS over their last 13 games.

At 29-15 Toronto sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game back of second-place Washington.

Indiana is experiencing a lost season without Paul George. Everyone knew the Pacers wouldn't be the same, but it's been worse than expected. Indiana started poorly, going through six- and eight-game losing streaks, showed a little life around Christmas, winning seven of 11, but they then lost seven more in a row. Indiana just snapped that most recent losing streak with a 106-99 victory at Orlando Sunday night.

The Pacers looked like they were on their way to an eighth-straight defeat Sunday night, trailing by nine points early in the fourth quarter, but fortunately they were playing the Magic. Indiana shot 52 percent from the floor Sunday, and outrebounded Orlando 54-38.

At 16-30 Indiana sits in 12th place in the East, but it's only 3.5 games behind eight-place Charlotte.

Toronto took the first meeting between these teams this season back in December 106-94, covering as a nine-point home favorite. The Raptors led that game basically from the start, pulling away for the cover. Toronto only shot 42 percent from the floor, but held Indiana to 41 percent shooting, and won the battle on the boards by a 58-47 margin.

Last season the Raptors took three of four games from the Pacers.

Today's NBA Picks of the Day include Raptors vs. Pacers

Raptors-Pacers Key Numbers
Toronto ranks 13th in the league in FG shooting at just under 46 percent, and sixth in FT shooting at 78 percent. The Raptors also rank only 25th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 46 percent, average a 21/12 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is pretty good, but rank 18th in rebounding at about -1 per game.

Indiana ranks 27th in FG shooting at 43 percent, but seventh in FG defense, holding foes to 44 percent shooting. The Pacers also average a 21/14 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is about average, but rank fifth in rebounding at almost +3 per game.

 

Raptors-Pacers Betting Trends
Toronto is 12-8 SU, 11-8 ATS on the road this season, and 6-3 ATS as favorites on the road.
Indiana 8-11 SU, 7-11 ATS at home, and just 2-5 ATS as home dogs.

Toronto is 24-20 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Raptors games have averaged 207 points. But Toronto has also played six UNDERS in its last seven games, in part because it's held five of its last seven opponents to 95 points or less.

Indiana is 26-19 on the totals, even though Pacers games have only averaged 192 points.

 

Injury Update
Indiana guard CJ Miles, who's averaging 12 PPG, missed Sunday's game with a pulled groin (the bad kind), and he's unlikely to play tonight.

 

Raptors-Pacers Free Pick
Indiana hasn't inspired any betting confidence lately, losing games to, among others, Minnesota and Philadelphia. How in good conscience could we recommend betting the Pacers? We can't. therefore we are taking a solid choice here backing the Raptors tonight as our NBA pick.

Free NBA Pick: Toronto -3.5 at 5Dimes