Raptors Report! Toronto To Get Back on Track in Indy
Toronto Has Edge Over The Pacers
The Raptors head to Indiana after a disappointing performance in New York saw their four-game winning streak snapped. NBA oddsmakers lined the Raptors as -1.5 point spread favourites or -115 straight-up. The Pacers (+1.5) can be had as high as +104. This will be Toronto's first of three meetings with Indiana this season and the two franchises have had intense games in recent years.
Indiana is 10-8 in the season and has won four-in-a-row. Despite losing star player Paul George, the Pacers are enjoying mild success thanks to the strong play of Victor Oladipo who is a candidate for Most Improved Player with career-highs in scoring (22.9 points per game), field goal percentage (45.8 per cent), three-point percentage (44.7 per cent), and rebounding (5.2 per game).
Toronto is 5-7 straight-up (SU) in its last 12 games in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse but are 3-2 in their last five and are 8-2 SU against Indiana in the past three seasons. Indiana won their last meeting last April.
The Raptors and Pacers find themselves evenly matched in most statistics hence why this game is almost a pick'em. Toronto is third in offensive rating (109.9), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58), and third in Effective Field Goal Percentage (54.7 per cent) while Indiana is fifth (107.7), second (1.71), and sixth (53.6 per cent).
Defensively, they aren't far apart with Toronto at 12th (103.6) and Indiana at 18th (105.6). If the Pacers have a weakness, it's their interior defense. Despite having one of the league's premier shot blockers in Myles Turner (2.7 blocks per game), the Pacers are second-last in interior defense allowing 49 points-in-the-paint per game.
The Pacers play a quicker pace (101.39) than the Raptors (100.04). If Toronto is to beat Indiana, they'll have to slow the game down a bit and run half-court sets that pound the rock inside. DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, and the returning Norm Powell can lead the attack and a revenge game from C.J. Miles will be the cherry on top. Bet on Toronto to edge the Pacers in a tight game.
Additionally, bet the under here though it seems too easy. The totals are set at 215.5 despite the fact the under has cashed in the last five games between Toronto and Indiana in Bankers Life. In those five games, both teams didn't even combine for 200 points.
Historically Bad Third Ends Raptors' Win Streak
Third periods are to the Raptors what splinters are to fingers. But even by Toronto standards, the Raptors' third period against the Knicks was historically atrocious. The Raptors shot one for 16 in the third (6 per cent) and surrendered a 28-0 run. They entered the third with an 11-point lead and finished it with a 20-point deficit, a 31-point swing and were outscored 41-10.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had the best game of his season scoring 38 points on 13 for 27 shooting with six rebounds and seven assists. To the Raptors' credit, they made a push in the fourth and outscored the Knicks 31-19 but it was all for naught. Lowry had another strong performance recording his fourth double-double of the season with 25 points and 10 rebounds while DeRozan scored 18.
Give the Raptors a little credit as they finished the game strong and can now move past that embarrassing quarter as they get ready for the Pacers.
Toronto Raptors 2017-18 Season Outlook
Despite their loss, the Raptors are still close to the top of the Eastern Conference at third with an 11-6 record. They are still second in the Atlantic Division although the loss to the Knicks cuts the Raptors' second-place division lead and are just a game ahead of New York. They are 2-2 in division games and 5-3 in conference games.
The Raptors remain a tough team to bet on as favourites but are usually sneaky underdogs. Fans can head to online sportsbooks, which have Canadian books like Sports Interaction and Bodog. They offer complete betting odds and offer plentiful prop bets. A signup bonus is also offered for new players. Stick with the Raptors and be rewarded for your faith.
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