NBA Pick on Desperate Raptors ATS in Game 3 in Washington

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, April 24, 2015 3:38 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 24, 2015 3:38 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.


The team from north of the border may seem be to up against it in this series, but look for an improved effort Friday night when those fourth seeded Toronto Raptors (49-35, 22-19 away) this time pay a visit to the fifth seeded Washington Wizards (48-36, 29-12 home) for Game 3 from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN2, with the Wizards leading the series 2-0.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Toronto as a moderate road underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -105.

Toronto Looking to Buck History
The Raptors have gotten themselves in a treacherous situation that only three other NBA Playoff teams in history have gotten out of, as that is how many teams have come back to win a series after losing the first two games at home! Toronto got itself in this mess by losing Game 1 in overtime 93-86 and then losing again 117-106 in Game 2, with both contests coming north of the border.

Thus the fifth seeded Wizards have the two-time Atlantic Division Champions on the ropes and being the NBA pick again tonight would almost certainly end this series as no NBA clubs has ever come back from being down 0-3 to win a series. However, as the Wizards really that much better than Toronto that going up 3-0 with the series shifting to Washington tonight is a foregone conclusion?

Three-Point Shooting Will be Key
We think not and we at the very least expect Toronto to take this game down to the wire if not get right back into this series with an outright upset. And one area where we expect improvement is in three-point shooting, as the Raptors shot a dismal 6-for-29 from beyond the arc in Game 1 before improving a bit by going 7-for-18 from three-point land in Game 2 Tuesday.

However, we feel that the Raptors are capable of even better after ranking eighth in the NBA in three-pointers made during the regular season, and it is not as if they are facing a particularly stiff perimeter defense as the Wizards were only 14th in the league in three-point defense during the year.

Speaking of the regular season, the Raptors swept all three meetings including a 120-116 overtime win in the only meeting here in Washington with the Raptors going 11-for-26, 42.3 percent from downtown, and Toronto had beaten the Wizards outright in seven of the last eight meetings prior to these playoffs, making the Wizards’ dominance in this series so far that much more surprising.

Washington Not Strong Second Half of Season
Also, we are not so sure that returning home with that 2-0 series lead may be the best thing for Washington considering their struggles covering spreads at home the second half of the season. In fact, Washington’s 12-8 straight up record over the last 20 home games is nothing special and the Wizards are just 7-12-1 ATS in those contests.

And while the Raptors have been underperforming, the Wizards were still able to escape with the win in Game 1 despite shooting just 39.4 percent overall and making just six of their 21 three-point attempts themselves, and then they got some help in Game 2 from an unlikely source with young Otto Porter suddenly going off for 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench, a feat that he does not figure to repeat here.

Wizards Have Not Responded after Allowing 100 Points
Finally, while the Wizards finished a respectable 10th in the NBA in points allowed during the regular season at 97.8 per game, they have responded terribly after allowing at least 100 points in their last game like they did vs. the Raptors in Game 2, going a horrific 4-23-2 in the last 29 subsequent games under this circumstance!

Look for that trend to continue vs. the desperate Raptors in Game 3 with Toronto at the very least covering the point spread as it looks to get back in the series in Washington on Friday.

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NBA Pick: Raptors +4½ (-105)

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