After a big Friday night of action where both of these teams had solid wins, these two face off against one another tonight in Toronto. The NBA Odds have the Raptors as -1 ½ favorites here, with a total of less than 200 points at 199 ½. With both teams likely tired after their games just 24 hours ago, let’s take a deeper look into these lines in order to find value.
Defense; it’s what’s for dinner
The team that plays better and with the most intensity on the defensive end of the floor is going to win this game, plain and simple. With both teams tired, the team that puts for the most effort tonight will win the game, and at home, I think that may just be the Raptors. The Clippers are only 5-5 ATS this season when playing on no rest, and with the Clippers having to go into Toronto, it might be one of the toughest back to backs the league has to offer after a tough game in Chicago last night.
The Raptors only allow around 97 points per game at home during the first half of the season, and despite the fact that the Clippers have been on a nice hot streak scoring the ball even without Chris Paul, they might run into a brick wall off the back to back. With their win last night, the Clippers improved their road record against the East, but they are still surprisingly below .500 in inter-conference games, going 6-7 SU and 7-6 ATS.
Even though the Clippers have held their eastern opponents to only 92 points per game this season, that number is skewed because it includes home games against the East as well, and the Raptors are actually a pretty good Eastern Conference team. When it’s all said and done tonight, I see the Raptors gaining a home victory ATS and SU.
The Sharp Pick
While the Raptors also played last night, they have been very good this season playing with no rest. On the year, the Raptors are 6-3 ATS when playing on the second night of a back to back, and it gets even better when they are playing their second game in two nights at home. In their road-home or home-home back to backs this season, the Raptors are 4-0 SU and ATS in the second game at home.
The Clippers are nice, but their point guard play has been spotty and inconsistent without Paul, and furthermore, Darren Collison is dealing with a toe injury right now, and it could be the reason why he has been shaky. The Raptors are only 8-7 ATS against the West this season, but playing a team that is probably more tired than they are is going to really help their cause of covering tonight as -1 ½ NBA Odds favorites.
While the Raptors’ home defense isn’t as great as their overall numbers would suggest, it’s likely because their score more than four points better per game at home than they do on the road. Don’t hesitate to lay the point or two with the Raptors tonight for your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Raptors -1 ½