NBA Picks: Clippers to Cover in Toronto as Raptors Losing Streak Continues

David Lawrence

Friday, February 6, 2015 1:40 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 1:40 PM GMT

Can Clippers bounce back and grab a crucial victory against the Raptors? It’s going to be a tough turnaround for this team and they’re a two-point dog on the NBA betting lines in Toronto.

The Los Angeles Clippers Can Win Because…
Their opponent is really struggling, even at home. The Raptors have just lost two straight home games, to Milwaukee and then to the Brooklyn Nets. Neither team is an Eastern Conference championship contender, with the Bucks being sixth and the Nets being ninth, but they rolled into Toronto and handled the Raptors without too many problems. The Bucks beat Toronto by seven, and the Nets cruised past the Raptors by 16. What should really discourage Toronto is that it lost because of offense against Milwaukee, scoring only 75 points. Against Brooklyn, the team lost because of a defense that surrendered 109 points. When you lose in one manner all the time, you at least know you can fix one and only one problem. When you lose different kinds of games in different ways, you realize that your problems are broad-based and hard to confine to only one source. The Raptors are drifting, and everyone in the league seems to know it. This team allows an average of 101.1 points per game, but it is averaging 84 points in its last two contests. The pervasiveness of flaws on this team is what makes it so vulnerable against the Clippers, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games and had been playing fairly well before a Thursday night loss in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. Given that everyone is losing to Cleveland right now (the Cavs are on a 12-game winning streak), that’s not too bad a loss. The Clippers can bounce back here.

 

The Toronto Raptors Can Win Because…
They're still 7-3 in their last 10 games, despite losing these two recent games to Milwaukee and Brooklyn. What’s more of a reason to pick Toronto here is that the Clippers looked absolutely horrible on Thursday night against Cleveland. It’s not that Cleveland wasn’t good – the Cavaliers have certainly found themselves – but that the Clippers looked so lost and angry. Chris Paul became very easily frustrated, at the drop of a hat. Blake Griffin was not fully focused. Matt Barnes and other supporting members of the Clippers’ perimeter rotation just aren’t producing regularly enough to give this team a genuine chance at competing for an NBA title. The Clippers seem far removed from being the kind of club that can truly make a run at the NBA Finals.

What should also be said about the Clippers is that they blew an eight-point lead with 1:10 left earlier in the week at Brooklyn. What had been a well-played game for 47 minutes turned into a disaster in the 48th minute. The Clippers could have gotten over that game in Cleveland, but it seems they really didn’t recover. With Los Angeles playing the back end of a back-to-back, this team might be physically and mentally tired.

 

Outlook
The Clippers were terrible against Cleveland but Toronto has been struggling this week with terrible losses at home to Milwaukee and Brooklyn. The Raptors are just 6-12 ATS in their last 18 when they’ve been postedon as a NBA odds home favorite of three or less, so take the Clippers with your NBA picks here.

Free NBA Pick: Clippers +2 at 5Dimes

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