What kind of NBA picks are we favoring tonight as the Raptors, on a downward spiral, desperately need a win to get back on track. Fortunately they'll take on one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Betting Odds Overview
Every day is a new day in the NBA, so Toronto's losing streak hasn't really had much of an effect on the NBA betting odds. The Raptors are still favored by 8.5 points here on the road against Philadelphia.
The NBA Odds list the O/U at 193 points as of now, with Toronto ranking in the top five in points scored per game but Philadelphia in 30th. Defensively, the Raptors and 76ers are 20th and 21st respectively in points allowed per contest.
It's not like the results have been getting much better, but the 76ers have at least been somewhat more competitive in recent weeks. That being said, they've still dropped six of their last seven games heading into tonight's game. That was topped off with a blowout loss to Indiana just last night.
Philadelphia stuck around through the first quarter, but ultimately they were shut down by the Pacers' stingy defense. The 76ers shot just 34.5 percent on their way to 74 total points. Robert Covington, Nerlens Noel, Jason Richardson and Ish Smith all scored in double figures, but no one scored more than 12 points in the loss. Philadelphia was 5-of-24 (20.8 percent from the field) and 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) from the line.
Now at 13-46 overall (8-20 at home, 5-26 on the road), the 76ers are in a "heated battle" for the NBA's worst record. They're a half game up on the Knicks (12-46), but the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference are right there too at 13-45.
To keep it short, the last couple of weeks have been a nightmare for the Raptors. They've lost five consecutive games to fall to 37-22 overall - while they're still in the second spot in the East, they're now only a half game up on Chicago and one game up on Cleveland, so things are looking a lot more difficult now because of this losing run.
While road losses to the likes of Atlanta, Houston, Golden State and Dallas are understandable, Toronto also lost to the awful Knicks inside Madison Square Garden on Saturday. That has to be the Raptors' most embarrassing loss of the entire season, especially when considering how badly they need wins right now. To be fair though, Toronto was without Kyle Lowry, who had to sit with an injury, and it's never easy to adjust without your floor leader out there, particularly since he's been such a warrior and hasn't missed many games this season.
But, enough excuses. The Raptors shouldn't be losing to the Knicks no matter what, and we know they have to have some wounded pride ahead of this evening's trip to Philadelphia. We expect them to come out focused from the opening tip.
NBA Betting Verdict
The Raptors have been struggling a lot lately, but as we've said in the past, there's no better tonic for troubles than coming up against the 76ers, who could care less about losing at this point.
On one side you've got a team that's purposefully tanking and trying to pick up losses, and on the other you've got a competitive squad that will be desperate to get a win, one that's still jockeying for as high of a seed in the Eastern Conference as possible.
So, picking a side here doesn't seem all that difficult. It's a lot of points to lay, but we don't have to question Toronto's desire here and they obviously have more talented too. With our NBA Picks, we're recommending that you back the road favorites and pick the Raptors to win by at least nine in the City of Brotherly Love.
NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors -8.5 at 5Dimes