NBA Picks: With Valanciunas Out Can Raptors Cope Against Heat

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, May 13, 2016 3:32 PM GMT

Friday, May. 13, 2016 3:32 PM GMT

Other than the injury news, there’s one aspect in this series that has been dominant. Find out what it is by reading this NBA betting breakdown of the Raptors vs. Heat game.

Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
The Toronto Raptors/Miami Heat round 2 series returns to South Beach for game 6. The game is set for an 8 PM eastern tip as televised by ESPN. Miami currently trails the series 3-2, following their 99-91 loss in Toronto on Wednesday evening. Big injury news in the series is that each team has lost their dominant starting center. Toronto is currently without Valanciunas, while Miami is without Whiteside.

In other injury news, each team has the similarity of two front court players with injured wrists, with Toronto’s DeMarre Carroll and Miami’s Luol Dang listed as questionable, with the expectation that each will suit up. Finally, Toronto’s leading scorer DeMar DeRozan right (shooting) thumb is so painful that he must wrap it in a “shoelace” before he plays!  As is true at this time every year, each team is suffering bumps and bruises. Tonight, Miami looks to force a 7th game in Toronto, while the Raptors look to close out the series after winning the critical 5th game on their home court 99-91.

 

The Series
This has been a competitive series since the opening game when Miami wrested home court from Toronto with a 102-96 road victory. The Raptors evened it up at a game apiece with a 96-92 win. The Raptors then regained home court edge last Saturday with a 95-91 victory on this very court. But Miami evened things on Monday night when they won 94-87 in OT. Finally, Toronto held serve Wednesday night 99-91 in a game they commanded since early in the first half. In short, this series is right where it was expected to be, with Miami on the verge of elimination, but having the benefit of playing on a home court where they are 32-15.

 

Conclusions
With the benefit of a 32-15 home court, the more experienced roster, and the better current form at guard, it is an easy leap to pick Miami to force a game 7 north of the border on Sunday. But if the Heat are going to take the series, they will need to defy the odds that tell us that teams who lose game 5 (Miami) in a series that is tied 2-2 go on to win the series only 18% of the time. Should it get to game 7, the Raptors will in addition be comforted by the fact that home teams have won 80% of game 7’s in the NBA Playoffs. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA pick on the Miami Heat tonight. Still not convinced? Boost your bankroll with this additional odds breakdown for the Raptors vs. Heat game.

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Free MLB Pick: Miami Heat -4 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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