NBA Picks: Heat Ready To Level The Playing Field Tonight Against Raptors

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, May 9, 2016 5:55 PM UTC

Monday, May. 9, 2016 5:55 PM UTC

After winning the 1st game in Toronto, Heat returns home following consistent defeats, first in Toronto, then on their home court on Sat. Will they continue to bounce back tonight? NBA pick inside.

Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
The big news in Game 4 of the Toronto/Miami series is the injury situation. The Raptors and Heat return to South Beach for Game 4 of their 2016 NBA Round 2 Playoff series with No. 2 seeded, Toronto, leading the series 2 games to 1 against No. 3 seeded, Miami. Much of how Game 4 will play out will be decided by the injury factor. What we know for sure is that Toronto big man, Jonas Valanciunas, is finished for this series with a sprained right ankle. He was declared “out” following the results of an MRI on Sunday with no timetable available if the Raptors win this series.

Valanciunas was injured in the 3rd quarter of Toronto’s Game 3 victory (95-91) in Miami. He has averaged 15/12 in the Playoffs, including a double/double in all 3 games vs. the Heat. His real importance is measured in his +/- numbers which shows that Toronto has outscored Miami by 41 points, when Valanciunas was on the floor, while the Heat have outscored the Raptors by 39 points, when the Raptors’ big man has been on the bench. This is clearly a huge negative for the Raptors, who must now rely even more on their all-star guard tandem of Lowry and DeRozan, who are barely making 30% of their shots in this series.

The availability of Miami’s Hassan Whiteside is far less clear. Whiteside is listed as doubtful for this contest with a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee. This injury is similar to the one that Steph Curry of Golden St. has suffered. Normal recovery time is 2 weeks with returns as little as 2 days to a month, depending on the individual player and injury.


Betting Analysis
As veteran Miami Heat guard, Dwyane Wade, said “it’s not always about who is the best team. It’s always about who’s the healthiest team. It will be a different game for us, if Hassan is out, but we have to figure a game that is successful for us.” Replacing Whiteside in the lineup will be veteran Udonis Haslem, a veteran of playoff wars and the type of player who is more than able of stepping up.

NBA Playoff home teams in this price range, coming off consecutive losses, are a near 70% ATS situational play against sub .750 foes. Combined with the certain loss of Valanciunas for the Raptors, it is enough to make Miami the right side in this contest. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Miami Heat tonight.   

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Free NBA Pick: Miami Heat -5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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