In the midst of one of their worst stretches of the season, the Raptors desperately need a victory. Will they get the job done at home against the Heat as the NBA odds-on favorites?
Even though the Raptors can't seem to win to save their lives, they've been priced out as the favorites in the NBA Odds for tonight's visit of Dwyane Wade and the Heat. At the moment Toronto is favored by 5.5 points, but be sure to keep checking back with SBR odds in order to track any potential line movement throughout the day.
The O/U meanwhile is quoted at 204, signaling that we should be seeing an up-tempo game in Toronto tonight. The Raptors rank in the top five in points scored per game, and the Heat have been making a concerted effort to push the pace ever since Goran Dragic was added to the fold.
The Raptors are still in a decent spot overall, but they have been playing some very poor basketball as of late. Not only have they lost four in a row, they've also gone a dreadful 1-9 over their previous 10 games overall. As a result, they've fallen to 38-26 overall and are now in the fourth spot in the East.
Considering Toronto was right up there challenging with Atlanta for the first seed at one point, it's been a maddening collapse. The playoffs aren't far away, so the Raptors will really need to get their act together if they want any chance of making some noise when it matters most. Kyle Lowry recently took a couple weeks off in order to get fully healthy, and he seems to have responded well to the time off, so hopefully he can guide Toronto back onto the right path.
It won't be all that easy against the Heat tonight, assuming the visitors don't rest a bunch of starters again, but you have to figure the desperation will be there for a Toronto team that hasn't won in almost two weeks. That win came over the 76ers no less, so needless to say there should be a lot of intensity out of these Raptors tonight.
Somehow, someway the Heat have scrapped their way into the eighth spot in the East. It hasn't been pretty, and injuries have been rampant down in South Beach, but they've found a way and that's all that matters.
Most recently, Miami scored a 104-98 home win over Brooklyn, cashing as small favorites in the process. Dwyane Wade continued his stellar play with a game-high 28 points while adding nine assists, three rebounds and a couple steals to boot. Chris Andersen filled in for Hassan Whiteside and had one of his best games of the season, posting 18 points and 14 rebounds in the victory. Goran Dragic and Luol Deng both hit double figures in scoring too.
Whiteside will return from a one-game suspension tonight, so the Heat figure to be as close to full strength as we've seen them in a while.
Many will be scared off by the Raptors, given how poorly they've been playing, but we believe this sets up as a nice spot for Lowry, DeRozan and the Raptors.
It's not like Miami has been impressing very much, and they've got a lot of guys that are banged up right now. Coming into tonight, the Heat are just 17-19 on the road, and they'll come up against a Raptors squad that's 21-11 at home this season.
We know the motivation will be there for Toronto, as they'll be doing everything in their power to avoid a fifth consecutive loss, especially against Miami in what could be a preview of an Eastern Conference playoff matchup. With your NBA Picks, let's add the Raptors and hope for a win by at least six points.
Free NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -5.5 at BetOnline