Fire Up Your NBA Picks With Heat-Raptors Going 'Under' In Game 2

Jason Lake

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6:26 PM GMT

The Miami Heat were less awful than the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Are the Heat still the right NBA pick for Game 2?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of May 4: 37-40-1 ATS, 13-4-1 Total

Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors
Did you catch Game 1 between the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors? If so, please report directly to the nearest eye wash station. That was some of the ugliest basketball you'll ever be exposed to; there were more turnovers (32 in total) than assists (31), and both teams shot poorly from the foul line. Miami ended up winning 102-96 in overtime, so at least we got paid for our troubles.


Will Thursday's Game 2 (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) be any less painful to watch? Perhaps. You can excuse both teams for coming out flat in the opener after getting stretched to seven games in the first round. The Raptors remain 4.5-point home faves on our NBA odds board as we go to press, and it looks like the zigzag theorists have come out to play, judging by the 61-percent consensus on Toronto. Shall we join the party?

From Lithuania With Love
Not so fast. We were riding a very hot UNDER streak heading into Game 1, but we put the Heat in our NBA picks instead, based on their improved level of play over the past couple of months, and the way Kyle Lowry's shot has abandoned him since he developed bursitis in his right elbow. Tuesday's opener would have easily slid UNDER 192 had Lowry not hit that halfcourt shot to extend the game to overtime.

We're inclined to get right back on that horse for Game 2. Still, the matchup at center between Miami's Hassan Whiteside (25.7 PER, +2.5 BPM) and Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas (22.6 PER, +1.1 BPM) was less problematic for the Raptors than we thought it would be here at the ranch. Valanciunas led his team with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting with 14 rebounds and a plus-10. Whiteside did his part with nine points and 17 rebounds, but he didn't dominate the game.
 

Sweet Knees
On top of that, Whiteside strained his right knee early in the first quarter, and admitted that it was hampering him the rest of the game. Then Dwyane Wade (20.3 PER, +0.8 BPM) banged up his left knee near the end of regulation. Wade reported suffering a bone bruise on the play. He and Whiteside will no doubt suit up on Thursday, and neither injury looks all that serious, but the UNDER should benefit just the same.

Meanwhile, Lowry (22.1 PER, +6.8 BPM) continues to take shots that he shouldn't be taking in his condition, and DeMar DeRozan (21.5 PER, +1.4 BPM) continues to make poor iso-ball decisions, firing up long 2s like he's auditioning to be the next Kobe Bryant. DeRozan might make enough of those shots for Toronto to win Game 2, but we'll take the UNDER instead, and may the sphere be with you.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 187.5 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at YouWager