Free NBA Picks: Raptors Looking To Keep Streak Alive Against Injured Heat

Swinging Johnson

Friday, January 22, 2016 4:54 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 4:54 PM UTC

The Heat are in the midst of a tailspin while the Raptors have now reeled off six consecutive wins and gunning for number seven tonight. Let’s review the NBA odds & find ourselves a winning pick.

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Free NBA Pick: Raptors -9 ½ 
Best Line Offered: at Youwager


Miami Heat (23-20 SU, 20-22-1 ATS)
The Miami Heat has been racked by injuries throughout the season but no more so than recently. The latest reports out of Miami state that Goran Dragic (calf) and Hassan Whiteside (hip/abdomen) have been ruled out of tonight’s contest along with Chris Andersen (knee) while Dwyane Wade (shoulder), Luol Deng (eye), Beno Udrih (neck) and Gerald Green (knee) will be game-time decisions. It all adds up to a world of hurt and a string of losses that has seen the club plummeting in the standings.

In their last outing the injury ravaged Heat flew to Washington fresh off an 11 point defeat to the Bucks and began the contest with 10 healthy players (sans Wade) and walked off the court with eight as they watched Hassan Whiteside go down with a strained oblique in the second quarter and then witnessed Luol Deng receive an eye poke late in the game that saw his night finished before the final buzzer sounded. In the end the Heat sustained their sixth loss over the course of their last seven games by the score of 106-87 in a game in which they never led.


Toronto Raptors (27-15 SU, 23-18-1 ATS)
The Raptors are white hot winning their last six and rewarding all those who have backed them in their NBA Picks over the course of this latest unbeaten streak by covering in five of those six victories. In their last outing Toronto hosted the their Atlantic division rivals the Boston Celtics and came away with a 115-109 victory and ATS cover as three-point NBA Odds favorites. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan led the charge with 34 points while Jonas Valanciunas contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Toronto is averaging 101 points per game which ranks them 19th in the league but it is their defense that has propelled them to the top spot in the Atlantic division holding opponents to 97.2 PPG which places them 4th in the NBA. DeRozan is leading his team in points scored with a 23.1 average while Jonas Valanciunas is the rebounds leader averaging 9.1 boards per game while center Bismack Biyombo is close behind with an 8.4 rebounds per game average. Biyombo however has seen his minutes decline since the return of Valanciunas from injury. The Raptors currently rank 13th on the glass averaging 43.6 boards per contest.

Must Read: Two Valuable High Scoring Games For Friday

Betting Analysis
The chaos and confusion surrounding the Heat’s starting lineup and just who will return from nagging injuries makes this a difficult game to get down on particularly when the home team is almost double digit favorites. But how do you back a team that is so short-handed despite the fact that they are getting such a generous head start from the odds makers? The clubs have split their series thus far with both games taking place in Miami. The Heat earned a 96-76 victory in November but the Raptors took their revenge a month later with a 108-94 road victory.

The venue has now changed to the friendly Air Canada Centre and the Raptors couldn’t be hotter. The Heat are 6-1 ATS in their last seven trips to Toronto but throw all those stats away because this Heat team is limping into this event and even if they get some of their “status uncertain” players back in uniform they are not going to be 100 percent and the only way Miami stays competitive is if they click on all cylinders. That is unlikely to happen.

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