Bienvenidos A Miami: Take ‘Under’ For Raptors-Heat Matinee

Friday, March 8, 2019 9:04 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 8, 2019 9:04 PM UTC

The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat play Sunday afternoon in South Florida. It’s a classic spot to put the ‘under’ in your NBA picks.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 7: 18-16-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 23-10 Totals

Toronto (47-19 SU, 34-32-1 ATS) at Miami (31-34 SU, 35-30 ATS)

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Free NBA Pick: Under

Best Line Offered: Heritage

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If they’re going to keep playing basketball on Sunday afternoons, we’re going to keep putting the ‘under’ in our NBA picks. That goes double for the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat – playing in Miami, no less. Lord knows what these young rascals will get up to Saturday evening. I’ve heard in Miami, they sometimes even stay up ‘til midnight.

We’re definitely way past our bedtime here at the ranch. Just in case anything noteworthy happened that might change our pick, we stayed up to watch the Raptors play the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night – and to see what happened when the Heat hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not much news from the Big Easy; Toronto struggled early, turned it on late, and blew out the short-handed Pels 127-104 (Over 231) as 9.5-point road faves. And Miami did much the same in their 126-110 win (Over 236) against the Cavs, cashing in at –9. Ho-hum.

Sid Justise

It’s nice that both those games went ‘over’ the posted total – that should help Sunday’s NBA odds stay on the higher side for us. It would have been nicer had the Raptors been forced to ride their starters a little more; Kyle Lowry (plus-2.7 OBPM, plus-0.3 DBPM) led everyone with 34 minutes, and no one else hit 30. Miami had a bit more work to do, giving Justise Winslow (minus-0.9 OBPM, plus-0.7 DBPM) and Josh Richardson (plus-1.2 OBPM, minus-0.8 DBPM) 35 minutes apiece.

One item of note from Miami: Goran Dragic (plus-0.1 OBPM, minus-2.2 DBPM) made his return to the Heat lineup after missing the previous three games with a strained left calf. Dragic came off the bench and didn’t look too rusty, scoring 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting in 15 minutes and posting a zero in the plus-minus column. His return gives Miami a clean bill of health coming into Sunday’s contest.

Vansanity

Not so for the Raptors. They’re still without sixth-man Fred VanVleet (plus-0.7 OBPM, minus-0.7 DBPM), who’s been out since February 9 with a sore left thumb – and isn’t expected back for another couple of weeks. The ‘over’ is 6-3 for Toronto since VanVleet last played, so that’s not ideal, but with Jeremy Lin (minus-6.5 OBPM, minus-1.4 DBPM in seven games) having trouble finding his groove given VanVleet’s minutes, maybe that’s more noise than signal.

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Nick Nurse speaks on Jeremy Lin.#Raptors pic.twitter.com/MaJzWiHnKD

— Raptors Nation (@_raptors_nation) March 8, 2019
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Anyway, it’s the Sunday afternoon angle we’re leaning on here, and we didn’t see anything Friday night to change our minds. Keep an eye on those opening odds and the morning shootaround, get the best price you can, and may the sphere be with you.

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