NBA Picks: Nets at Raptors Point Spread
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors
The Nets and the Raptors are polar opposites. Brooklyn rolled the dice to achieve instant gratification, ruining their franchise for half a decade. Toronto’s built slowly and steadily through smart drafting and under-the-radar acquisitions, creating a top contender in the eastern conference. Considering Toronto’s consistency over the past few years, anything but a blowout would be a surprise result in this matchup.
Brook Lopez, easily the best player on the Nets, will be resting for tonight’s game, which means that Luis Scola will be lining up against Valanciunas. Understandably, the Nets want to get as much as possible in return for Lopez, who’s an attractive prospect for teams looking to make a deep playoff run. Expect Jonas to feast while the Nets rest their trade bait. The Raptors have been shorthanded on power forward all season long, missing Jared Sullinger, a key off-season acquisition. Patrick Patterson’s just coming off of knee troubles, and will give 100% despite not being 100%, unless Casey chooses to rest his best available four. Either way, the Nets will lose.
Nets at Raptors Prediction
Bet Toronto Raptors (-2000) at 5Dimes Sportsbook
The Raptors have been elite on the offensive side of the court all season, hovering around the top three squads in offensive rating along with the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets. Toronto’s rolled over most opposing defences this season, hanging triple digits with ease. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have been their main weapons, managing to drain 50-60 points most evenings. Secondary scoring via Valanciunas and Ross typically add to the onslaught, with steady contributions from Joseph and Powell.
The Brooklyn Nets aren’t very inspired on the offensive end. Top contributor Brook Lopez averages 20.1 PPG and Jeremy Lin manages nearly 14 PPG while chipping in 5.8 helpers per game.
Shooters Bogdan Bogdanovic and Sean Kilpatrick shoot threes at a league average rate, while Hollis-Jefferson still struggles to find an NBA-worthy jumper. Since the Raptors defence has regressed notably below league average, and the Nets defence ranks among the worst in the NBA, this matchup should feature plenty of open jumpers and slick post moves.
Choosing over on a projected total of 224 points seems reasonable given the Raptors’ ability to score 120 points, even with a bench-heavy rotation.
The question isn’t whether or not the Raptors will beat the Nets, but whether a 15.5 point spread represents an acceptable risk. During their previous matchup in December, the Raptors earned a 12-point victory while Brook Lopez was inactive. When you look at Brooklyn’s schedule, they’ve lost by more than 15 points 16 times this year, including 20-point blowouts against Atlanta and Philadelphia in two of their last three games. After a recent stretch of tough road games, Toronto has the motivation to destroy Brooklyn as soon as possible to give much needed rest to Lowry, DeRozan and other weary Raptors. Toronto’s bench is good enough to beat the Nets on their own, which makes a 15.5 spread a realistic goal for the Raptors.
NBA Picks Tonight | January 13, 2017
The NBA schedules features nine games in action tonight, including a decent wagering opportunity involving the Cleveland Cavaliers. After being upset by the Jazz, the Cavs will look to dismantle the dysfunctional Sacramento Kings. The moneylines show Cleveland as a moderate favorite instead of an overwhelming one, creating a decent payout for betting on the best team in the eastern conference. The Celtics are listed as underdogs this evening against the Hawks, representing another good betting opportunity. Despite missing Avery Bradley, the Celtics have a good chance of winning against the hot Hawks, producing a solid payout with acceptable risk.
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