Sitting firmly in the 2-hole of the Eastern Conference standings, the Toronto Raptors continue a southern tour Monday with an NBA odds battle at the New Orleans Pelicans.
Following a franchise-record win streak, Atlanta has hit a little speed bump this month to open the door for the top playoff seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference. So far, the Toronto Raptors haven't been able to take full advantage of the Hawks' slowdown but can at least keep pressure on Atlanta with a victory Monday night at the New Orleans Pelicans.
The first matchup of an NBATV doubleheader, Toronto and New Orleans tip things a little after 8 PM (ET) in the Big Easy. Due to injuries on both sides, NBA betting odds for this game have yet to be released.
New Orleans was the site of Atlanta's 19-game win streak coming to an end three weeks ago, and the Raptors are hoping for a better outcome in their only stop this season at Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans will be going for the regular season sweep after pulling off a 95-93 upset as 11-point underdogs at Toronto in mid-January, New Orleans' first win over the Raptors in four years, a span of six meetings.
Tyreke Evans' layup in the final seconds gave the Pelicans the victory just when it seemed overtime was inevitable, marking the 20th time in the last 27 meetings that the road team cashed. Seven of the last 11 clashes failed to reach the closing totals.
Raptors Spanked By Rockets On Saturday
Toronto (37-18 straight up, 27-27-1 against the spread) came out of the NBA All-Star Game looking at a heavy road schedule to begin the final push, nine of the first 11 games following the break away from home. The current 4-game trip started with a big win in Atlanta last Friday, but the Raptors suffered a bit of a hangover in the subsequent stop in Houston on Saturday.
Dwayne Casey's club was getting two points on the NBA betting card and trailed the Rockets by only two early in the second half before things came unraveled in the eventual 98-76 loss. The setback stopped a 4-game win streak for the Raptors, but continued a 4-game 'under' run, six of their last seven falling short of the mark.
The Raptors were playing without guard Louis Williams in Houston, and the veteran guard is questionable for Monday's tilt with an ankle injury. Williams is third on the team averaging 15.4 PPG, and suffered the injury in the win vs. Atlanta, a game in which he hit 7-of-10 tries from beyond the arc.
Injuries Leave Pelicans Shorthanded In Paint
The list of walking wounded is longer and far more extensive for New Orleans (28-27 SU, 30-24-1 ATS), which is something you should think about before placing your NBA picks. Monty Williams is likely to be without his top two forwards, Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson for the collision with the Raptors. Davis, fifth in the NBA in scoring, reinjured his right shoulder in Saturday's game at Miami and was joined on the trainer's table shortly after when Anderson sprained his right knee. The latest diagnosis for Davis is a week minimum before he returns while Anderson is doubtful for Monday.
The Pelicans managed to win the contest to halt a 4-game slide both straight up and vs. the NBA odds. The injuries to Davis and Anderson only compound the absence of Jrue Holiday, missing since mid-January and likely out through the remainder of the regular season.
Once a spread and total has been released, you will have to check back on the NBA odds later today to catch those numbers.
NBA Pick: No Line