NBA Picks: Raptors vs. Heat

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:47 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 12:47 PM GMT

Find out why a play on the total is the way to go with your NBA picks in tonight's matchup between the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

The NBA Odds for this one favor the Heat by -11 ½, with a total of 196. With Toronto still dealing with injury and close losses, will the Heat steamroll them like the line suggests, or will the Raptors bring their A-games and keep this one close?

Miami banged up; line still double digits

Despite Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and a couple other role players from Miami being listed as day-to-day, the Heat are still favored by double figures. James sat out practice yesterday because of a cold, while Wade sat out Monday with a sore toe. Both are fully expected to play, but you can start to see that every bump and bruise needs to be accounted for at this point in the season.

Miami will get a boost in their lifeless frontcourt, as they signed Chris “Birdman” Anderson to a ten-day contract, which will likely be extended through the end of the season. There’s no telling what kind of shape he is in, but since James is the team’s leading rebounder, it can’t really hurt. The Heat are dead last in the NBA in rebounding, which could cost them the title this season against several teams.

Raptors playing hard

Even though their season was basically over before it even got going, the Raptors under Dwayne Casey have been competing and playing hard, despite not having a very strong roster.

The Raptors are 4-6 SU in the month of January, and only two of their losses were by more than ten points, and they were 11, and 12-point losses. Two of those losses were in overtime. Even though their hot streak to end 2012 is over, the Raptors are still cashing ATS on the season, especially at home. However, now that this game is in Miami, the Raptors will have a tough time covering with what they have. If any team is worse off in their frontcourt than Miami, it’s the Raptors.

When making my NBA picks, I feel that the spread is a bit tricky in this situation. 11.5 points is a lot to ask for at this point of the NBA season, especially with Miami being a little under the weather. However, I have chosen to lay off the spread in this game, and instead focus on the total. The Raptors already give up 100 points a game, and against the Heat, that is like giving up 110 points per game.

[gameodds]5/134678/43/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

This is Miami’s first time playing at home in over two weeks. They tend to cover more ofter at home, and they score more points as well. At only 196, I think that the best betting value lies in betting the total. Toronto is good enough to score 90 or more against Miami, even with their current injuries. They will play tough, but their defense won’t be enough to stop Miami’s stars, leading this game to go over.

Toronto also is cashing the over in away games very well this season. In 21 away games so far this season, the Raptors have cashed the over in 14 of those 21 games. I expect 200 points in this game, as both will be solid offensively.

NBA Pick: OVER 196

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