Bet Nets -3 over Raptors for your NBA Picks

Matthew Jordan

Monday, March 10, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 10, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

Were the NBA playoffs to begin today, Brooklyn and Toronto would face off in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. If the Nets have any realistic hopes to win the Atlantic Division, they probably need to beat Toronto on Monday night. Find out where our handicapper is placing his basketball picks.

The Raptors have a four-game lead and they are -800 favorites at Sportsbook.com to win the division. Brooklyn opened as a 3-point favorite on NBA odds for this game with a total of 194.5 for sports bettors.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":258060, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Banged-Up Nets

Brooklyn (32-29 ATS, 29-28-4 O/U at sportsbooks) has won five of six and beat Sacramento 104-89 on Sunday night as Marcus Thornton had 27 points against his former teammates. He had one stretch of 13 straight points for the Nets from the end of the third quarter and into the fourth as they pulled away. Thornton has been boom or bust for the Nets. That was his third game with at least 20 points in the past five and he had only had three total games of at least 20 in 46 games with Sacramento. Thornton also has had games of just four points and three points in the past five. Brooklyn improved to 16-2 in its past 18 games against teams with a losing record. 

Nets forward/center Kevin Garnett sat his fifth straight game Sunday with back spasms and is questionable for this one. He's averaging 9.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games against Toronto this year. The Nets lost both Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko to injuries as well during the game. Pierce left early in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. He's been playing through some issues in that right shoulder. He's called day-to-day as is Kirilenko, who sprained his ankle and left for good in the third quarter.

So Much For Tanking This Season

The Raptors (37-23-1 ATS, 31-30 O/U at sportsbooks) have won six of seven and beat Minnesota 111-104 in Minneapolis on Sunday night. Kyle Lowry had the fourth triple-double of his career with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, while DeMar DeRozan had 25 points. Toronto was 14 of 24 from 3-point range.

Raptors forward and sixth man Patrick Patterson sat out Sunday's game with a right ulnar collateral sprain and is out at least a few more as he will be reevaluated in 7-10 days. He is averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds off the bench. Patterson was part of that Rudy Gay trade with Sacramento. Patterson shot only 41 percent from the field overall and 23.1 percent from 3-point range with the Kings and has upped those numbers to 49.2 & 43.9, respectively, as a Raptor.

Toronto hasn't made the playoffs since 2007-08 and hasn't finished with a winning record since the year before that, the season of the Raptors' only division title.

Season Series

This is the final meeting with the Raptors leading 2-1 so obviously a victory here would clinch a potential head-to-head tiebreaker should that come into play for the division title. Back when the Nets were still a mess on Nov. 26 they won 102-100 in Toronto despite playing without Deron Williams and  Brook Lopez. Toronto also wasn't very good then as it hadn't yet traded Gay. On Jan. 11 in Toronto, the Raptors beat the Nets 96-80 behind 26 points from DeRozan. You could see that loss coming for the Nets as Brooklyn had a draining double-overtime home win the night before against Miami. The defeat to Toronto ended Brooklyn's five-game winning streak.

Then the Raptors ended another five-game winning run for the Nets on Jan. 27, winning 104-103 in Brooklyn as 4-point underdogs on NBA odds. Patterson was the hero for Toronto, stealing a Williams inbounds pass and hitting the go-ahead jumper with six seconds left. The Nets blew a three-point lead with 17 seconds remaining. Lowry led Toronto with 31 points. DeRozan missed that game. Pierce had his best game as a Net with 33 points but clanked the potential winning shot at the buzzer.

2013-14 NBA Championship Betting Futures

NBA Free Picks: Nets -3 and the over. However, if KG, Pierce and Kirilenko all sit out, we then recommend Toronto for your basketball picks. The Nets have covered six straight at home. The over is 5-0 in Toronto's past five in the second of a back-to-back. It's 6-2 in Brooklyn's past eight against teams with a winning record.

comment here