The Toronto Raptors have lost three straight games since a 5-0 start, but they face the horrific defense of the Philadelphia 76ers and the end result could be a high scoring game.
The two-time defending Atlantic Division Champions should be in an ornery mood Wednesday night after losing their third straight game last night, and the end result could be a high scoring game when those Toronto Raptors (5-3, 5-3 ATS) pay a visit to the winless Philadelphia 76ers (0-7, 3-4 ATS) and their leaky defense at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 193½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘over’ set at -105.
Lost to Knicks at Home Last Night
The Raptors were flying high in their pursuit of a third straight Atlantic title at 5-0, but then came a couple of road losses in Florida at Orlando and at Miami. A return home last night vs. the lowly Knicks figured to be the cure to the Raptors’ ills, but instead New York pulled the 111-109 upset up in Canada. That loss could be the worst thing that could have happened for the 76ers though, as the Raptors are now in a position to unleash some frustrations.
The Sixers have been the losing NBA picks in all seven games this season, joining their division mates the Brooklyn Nets also at 0-7 as the only two winless teams in the NBA. Thus the last thing they need right now is to be facing an angry motivated team that can name the score here vs. the Philadelphia defense.
Lots of Offense Expected
Although the Raptors lost on Tuesday, they did rediscover their offense with the 109 points after scoring 76 and 87 points respectively in the two previous losses. So the offense now has a chance to return to the form of the first five games this year when Toronto averaged 106.0 points during the 5-0 start while scoring at least 102 points in every win.
And it helps to now be facing one of the worst defenses in the league with Philadelphia ranking 24th in points allowed at 104.7 per game, 21st in field goal percentage allowed at 45.6 percent and 28th in three-point defense at 39.0 percent. And the Toronto offense has certainly had no problems with the Raptors’ defense lately, topping 100 points in eight of the last nine head-to-head meetings.
Now, the Raptors had been five defensively until last night, when the 111 points allowed were a season-high, and that can be directly attributable to DeMarre Carroll, one of the best defenders in the league that the Raps signed away from the Atlanta Hawks in free agency, missing his second straight game. Carroll will also sit that this game out as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis, so the defense may again be a bit lax.
Garbage Time Could also Help the ‘over’
Then again, the Raptors may be able to coast defensively anyway of the offense put up as many points as we expect, and that may also not require much from the Philadelphia offense to push this game ‘over’. We see the ‘over’ as a very viable option here as we have no interest in giving double-digits on the road with Toronto.
It is not at all far-fetched to expect 110 points from the Raptors here, and if that happens, the Sixers would only need to score 84 points or more for this contest to sneak ‘over’. Well, Philadelphia is not an offensive juggernaut averaging 91.4 points per game, but even that modest total should be enough for us to cash this ticket.
Also keep in mind that there is a realistic chance that the Raptors could open up a substantial lead here leading to some extensive garbage time, which is usually a boon for the ‘over’ with so little defense being played on both ends of the court late in the game.
Nice ‘over’ Run in Philadelphia
Finally, the poor Philadelphia defense is a key reason why the ‘over’ is 10-2 in the 76ers’ last 10 games overall as well as 8-1 in their last nine home games. The ‘over’ is also 9-3 in the Raptors’ last 12 road games vs. teams with losing home records.
Expect a continuation of those patterns here with Toronto taking out some frustration due to the three-game losing streak by running up the score vs. a winless team, meaning the 76ers may not even need to score too much to push this game ‘over’ this total in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
NBA Pick: Raptors, 76ers ‘over’ 193½ (-105)