Heat Are Still A Reliable NBA Pick In Game 3 Against Struggling Raptors

Jason Lake

Saturday, May 7, 2016 1:29 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 7, 2016 1:29 PM GMT

It's not easy for the UNDER to cash in when the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat keep going into overtime. But it could still be the right NBA pick for Game 3 on Saturday.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of May 6: 37-40-1 ATS, 13-5-1 Total

Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
These things happen once in a while. We recommended the UNDER for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal between the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors, and even though they went into overtime for the second game in a row, the Raptors prevailed 96-92 to slide UNDER the posted total of 189. Marvelous, well done.

 

Except we didn't have UNDER 189 here at the ranch. Thanks to the wonders of internet publishing, we ended up with UNDER 187.5 at the time that article was posted. It's been marked down in the loss column for that ongoing record you see up above, but chances are you were able to get a better price in the real world. So do we keep pounding that UNDER for Saturday's Game 3 (5:00 p.m. ET, ESPN)? The total has shrunk to 187 points on our NBA odds boards as we go to press, so there might not be any steam left in that steam train.

 

Sore Thumb
The Heat, on the other hand, are getting plenty of steam on the point spread. They've moved up from –4.5 home faves at the open to –5.5 at press time. Our consensus reports show 53 percent of first responders on Miami, so it's not a stampede to the ticket window by any means, but the sharps do appear to favor the Heat in Saturday's matchup.

As they probably should. Neither team has performed particularly well in this series, but Toronto dropped the cash in the first two games, falling to 2-7 ATS in these playoffs. This team has a fundamental flaw: Kyle Lowry's right elbow. His shot has failed him, but the Raptors keep going to the well – Lowry went 7-for-22 in Game 2, including 1-of-7 from downtown.

DeMar DeRozan also had another bad game on Thursday. He scored 20 points, but that was on 9-of-24 from the floor, and a woeful 2-of-8 from the charity stripe. And now DeRozan has a sore right thumb that he picked up in the series opener. This is not good.

 

Change
If you happened to watch Thursday's game on ESPN, you heard the commentary team wonder openly and repeatedly about why Jonas Valanciunas (15 points on 7-of-9 shooting) wasn't getting more plays run for him. Why indeed. But we're not going to bother trying to answer that question; we'll just note that Lowry and DeRozan have yet to stop taking bad shots, and we expect that to continue on Saturday.

The Heat don't get off scot-free here. They turned the ball over 21 times in Game 2, they and they missed more than their share of 3-pointers (5-of-14) and free throws (9-of-13). But Miami's issues aren't as problematic as Toronto's. With the total dropping as low as it has, we're happy enough to put the Heat in our NBA picks again. Just make sure you wear protection before watching Game 3.
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Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat 
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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