NBA Picks: Look For Toronto To Cover In Wizards vs. Raptors Battle

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 5:36 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 5:36 PM GMT

Can Washington get back on track after losing their winning streak against LA when meeting with the Raptors? Get our full NBA odds breakdown and find out our picks.

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Free NBA Pick: Raptors -6½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

The North Gets Stronger
Our friends north of the border were probably happy to see both Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll back on the court together in the Raptors last game, and while neither of them are ready for a full compliment of minutes, there both are a welcome sight to a team that was struggling some without them. While the Raptors’ offense was still pretty steady without Carroll and Valanciunas, Toronto’s defense took a noticeable turn downward. Both of those guys are Toronto’s best defenders, and with them back in action tonight, it could mean a big Raptors win over a team that has given them problems ATS in the past.

The Wizards have won their last six meetings with the Raptors ATS, but the only one this season was with Washington as a healthy team. Without Bradley Beal and several of their role players, Washington is weaker tonight than they were when these two teams hooked up the first time back in November.

With that being said though, if Valanciunas can win this matchup tonight with Marcin Gortat, the Raptors have a very good chance at breaking their ATS losing streak against Washington. I doubt the Raptors’ big man plays more than 20 minutes, but that could be enough to limit Gortat. The Wizards center has really stepped up with the absence of most of Washington’s frontcourt depth. However, if Gortat gets into foul trouble tonight, or can’t score easily against the bigger Valanciunas, the Wizards might crumble here on the road.

 

The Sharp Pick
The Raptors have already been very good this season playing defense at home, despite missing Valanciunas for 17 games and Carroll for nine. The Raptors currently rank just outside the top five in points allowed at home this season, and they are barely outside the top ten teams in Defensive Efficiency this season at 100.4. Even though Washington plays at a fast pace, the Raptors should slow them down enough tonight to make them work on the half court for all of their buckets. Toronto turns the ball over less than any other team this season outside of the Charlotte Hornets so far this season, and if the Wizards aren’t getting too many fast break opportunities this time, they are going to have a lot of trouble scoring against the Raptors healthy starting five.

Washington is also allowing a ton of points on defense again. After starting off the year awfully on defense, they were looking better with their full cast. However, injuries have forced them to play certain guys big minutes, and they are once again slipping back into the depths of being a bad defensive team. Washington has allowed almost 105 points per game in their last ten games overall, and against the Raptors in Toronto tonight, that won’t cut it. After taking a look at the NBA odds board, look for the Raptors to break their streak of losing ATS against Washington in one of the matchups tonight for your NBA picks.

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