NBA Picks: Heat Poised To Upset Raptors In Game 1

Charles Stark

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 3, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Both Raptors and Heat had tough contested series in the first round and odds makers have made the Raptors a small home favorite for game one. Can Miami pull off the minor upset in game one?

The NBA Odds have Miami at +4.5, an underdog like at Pinnacle Sports offered at -105. For one of my NBA picks I will take the Heat in this spot plus the points because I believe they can win this first game. Miami is deep and plays the type of defense that could cause Toronto a lot of trouble.


Miami Heat
The Miami Heat rank fourth in the league shooting 47% from the field and rank sixth allowing opponents to shoot just 43.8% overall. When we think about the Heat we naturally tend to think about how tough they are defensively but this team showed in their first series of the playoffs they can score as well. In their wins against the Hornets they averaged over 110 points per game getting up well over their average of attempts but in their losses they were down around 85 points per game and not getting up enough attempts.

This could be problematic against a Raptors team that allows only 81.5 attempts per game which ranks them third in the league and offensively got up only 81.4 attempts which ranked them 28th. However, Miami is much more efficient than the Pacers and play better defense overall.

Along with their overall shooting percentage Miami ranked fourth in the league averaging 46.2 points in the paint and rank in the top ten in both shooting efficiency and effective field goal percentage. Defensively they rank second in opponent assists per game and three pointers made per game. Talent wise this is a great matchup for the Heat and I believe they can take this game to the final shot.


Toronto Raptors
Toronto ranks second to last in the league in opponent three point shooting percentage and offensively shoot just 44.6% from the field which ranks them 19th. There was a big sigh of relief from Toronto fans after getting by Indiana and although they handled Miami for the most part in the regular season winning three out of their four games this will be a difficult matchup for them.

DeMar Derozen and Kyle Lowry have not been shooting the ball particularly well despite Derozen’s big game seven. Miami presents some challenges to their offense that might make it difficult for them to get into any kind of rhythm as the Heat rank in the top seven in the league in most defensive shooting percentage categories as well as holding teams to just 10.3 fast break points per game which ranks first in the NBA.

Offensively the Raptors can be really stagnant at times from their slow tempo to only averaging 18.5 assists per game which ranks 29th in the league. When we break these two teams down more it becomes apparent that their styles are really mirror images of each other but the Heat do everything just a little bit better across the board. Home court won’t be enough for Toronto and I anticipate the Heat win the series and keep things real tight tonight.

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Free NBA Pick: Heat +4.5 -105
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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