NBA Picks: Raptors vs Hornets Point Spread
Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets Odds
Raptors fans know that the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets have been thorns in the sides of Toronto basketball teams for the past few years, despite the fact that Raptors squads tend to be better on paper. Since the 2011-12 campaign, the Hornets have won eight of the last ten games at home against the Raptors. During their last meeting, the Raps pulled off a narrow, two-point win. This time, Toronto isn’t at full strength, with key personnel missing entirely or on the limp.
An injury bug has run through the Toronto Raptors locker room, claiming their most consistent forwards this season. Patrick Patterson has been on the mend with a knee issue, Lucas Nogueira suffers from concussion repercussions and DeMarre Carroll was kicked in the head by Pascal Siakam during the 76ers loss. Jared Sullinger made a surprise return from his pre-season injury, but will remain on a restricted minutes schedule, reducing his contributions. Charlotte’s been healthy other than Jeremy Lamb, who’s struggling through a foot injury. Keep a close eye on the lineup, as last minute rotation changes could shift the outcome of this matchup.
Raptors at Hornets NBA Prediction
Bet Charlotte Hornets (-105) at Bet365 Sportsbook
Neither team has been impressive as of late, featuring strong backcourts who haven’t received great support from the rest of their squad. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan lead the Raptors in production on a nightly basis, combining to top 50 points on many nights. Nic Batum and Kemba Walker don’t boast the same level of consistent offensive production, but still have the ability to dominate the outcome of a game. Walker occasionally goes off for 40 points while Batum’s defense, shooting and all-around game can lock down top swingmen, like DeMar DeRozan.
Sportsbooks list this matchup as a close one, even though the Hornets just stemmed a five-game losing streak, barely making it back to .500. Toronto has had trouble defeating the Hornets over the past half-decade, flattening the point spread more than usual. Over the past 18 games, the Raptors have won only seven times, with two of those victories earned on the road. As a result, the spread peaks at one point, and some bookies aren’t even offering an ATS wager for this game.
The projected total stand at 215, which appears to be a bit low for this matchup because the two teams combined for 224 points in November. Both the Raptors and the Hornets feature troubled defensive lineups which rank below average. However, last season, these two teams didn’t reach 215 points in four games. Interestingly, the Raptors and the Hornets average 216 points this season, which implies that bookies expect a slightly lower offensive output than normal. Given the Raptors injuries and their previous performance against Philadelphia, betting under appears to be the safer wager this time around.
NBA Picks Tonight | January 20, 2017
This Friday evening in the NBA features a busy schedule, with a total of nine games taking place across the association. Easily the biggest matchup of the night, the Golden State Warriors visit the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. The last time these two teams collided resulted in one of the best ball games this season, as Houston earned a 132-127 road victory in double overtime. The Warriors have been listed as moderate favorites for this matchup, along with a relatively weak spread of 5.5 points. Golden State won’t be caught off guard again, and should be able to summarily dismiss the Rockets.
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