Toronto started 5-0 this season, and 5-0 against the NBA odds, but tripped last time out. Can the Raptors pick up where they left off Sunday in Miami?
Raptors-Heat Betting Odds
Sunday's NBA odds market opened this game with Miami favored by 2.5 points, the total proffered at right around 191, and those figures were holding steady in the early betting.
Toronto is off to a 5-1 start to this season, and 5-1 ATS, after suffering its first loss of this season Friday night at Orlando 92-87. The Raptors trailed by nine points at the half, rallied to take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, but cooled, missed a key free-throw late and fell outright as six-point favorite.
On the night Toronto shot just 35 percent from the floor and made just five-of-23 shots from beyond the arc. On the other end of the court, though, the Raptors held the Magic to 43 percent shooting, and on the season they've held opponents to 40 percent shooting, a solid improvement so far over last season.
Friday's night performance was a letdown, after Toronto upset the Thunder in OKC two nights before 103-98 as an eight-point dog. But perhaps it sets the Raptors up for a rebound play for Sunday.
Miami, meanwhile, is 3-3 both SU and ATS, alternating wins and losses through its first six games. The Heat opened with a win over Charlotte, then lost at Cleveland, then beat Houston, then lost to Atlanta, then won at Minnesota Thursday night 96-84 but lost at Indiana Friday night 90-87.
Miami led the Pacers Friday by four points early in the fourth quarter, but faded from there, only scoring 12 points over the last 10 minutes of the game. On the night the Heat shot 44 percent from the field, but hit just six-of-20 shots from 3-point range.
Raptors-Heat Recent Series
Toronto took two of three games from Miami last season, winning once at home and splitting two games in Florida. However, the Heat outshot the Raptors in those three games combined 47 percent to 44 percent. And Miami F Chris Bosh, formerly of Toronto, missed those last two meetings.
Also, the OVERS went 2-1 in this series last season, as the games averaged 205 points, against an average total of 199.
Toronto is 4-2 on the UNDERS this season, as Raptors games have averaged 198 points.
Miami is 5-1 on the UNDERS, as Heat games have averaged 189 points.
Raptors-Heat Free NBA Picks
Toronto was rolling, until hitting a speed bump last time out; meanwhile, Miami doesn't look like much more than a .500 team at the moment, playing slightly shorthanded. Also, the Raptors are making a concerted effort to improve on defense this season, and so far, so good. We like Toronto in this spot, to bounce back with an outright win. Also, both these teams are trending UNDER early this season, and we could see this game turning into a grinder.