NBA Preview: Toronto Raptors at New Jersey Nets - Nets Favored

Team Page: Toronto :: New Jersey

71% of Bets Placed on Nets -3.5 | Matchup | NBA Picks
In an Atlantic Division that can't even be considered mediocre, Tuesday night's matchup between the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets qualifies as a "showdown," even though the teams are a combined nine games below the .500 mark.

With first place on the line, the division rivals meet for the third time this season when Toronto visits Continental Airlines Arena.

Oddsmakers have made New Jersey -3.5 point spread favorites

(NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 194 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

The Raptors are atop the Atlantic at 15-19, while the Nets are a half-game back at 14-19. It's the only division in which every team has a losing record.

Toronto is showing signs that it could be the club to seize the Atlantic title. Star forward Chris Bosh missed 12 games earlier in the season with an injured left knee, but the Raptors built some cohesiveness while they managed to split those games.

Toronto got starters T.J. Ford and Jorge Garbajosa back for Sunday's 116-111 victory over Washington. Ford returned after missing three games with a sprained right ankle, and Garbajosa was back after missing two games with a strained right calf.

"It feels really good to have T.J. and Garbo back," Bosh said. "This is the first time in a while that we've seen everyone together, especially since we have been playing a little bit better basketball. We are still looking to grow and get better and compete everyday."

Bosh had 24 points and 15 rebounds as Toronto won for the second time in three games since his return. He's shown no ill effects from the knee problem, averaging 23.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in those contests.

Ford scored 20 points, his fifth straight game with at least that many. He's averaging 23.0 points in the five games.

"It was a little painful," Ford said of his ankle. "But it was something I felt I could tolerate so that's what allowed me to play and what made the decision for me and the training staff. I don't think I'm putting it at any risk where I can injure it any worse than what it is."

In contrast, New Jersey's health woes probably won't get better. The Nets have already lost forward Nenad Krstic for the year and swingman Richard Jefferson is severely limited by a right ankle problem that has plagued him all season.

That leaves the Nets' fate largely in the hands of Vince Carter.

The former Raptor, though, hasn't played up to his standards over his last seven games, averaging 19.1 points on 38.7 percent shooting. He averaged 26.2 points on 46.2 percent from the field prior to this rough stretch.

The All-Star forward had another average game Saturday as New Jersey had a season-high three-game winning streak snapped with a 96-91 loss at Cleveland. Carter scored 18 points and misfired on a tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds.

"It was a good look," Carter said. "A little bit short."

Toronto is 4-1 against Atlantic Division opponents, splitting the first two meetings with New Jersey.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Headlines

  • METAIRIE, La. (AP) New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins says he was protecting a rebound the way all big men are taught when he was ejected for a flagrant foul during a game against Oklahoma City.<...
  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of ''catfishing,'' and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.
    Allen...
  • NEW ORLEANS (AP) Pelicans center Demarcus Cousins has been ejected from a game against Oklahoma City after swinging his elbow near the head of Thunder star Russell Westbrook.
    The play occurre...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The NBA has suspended Denver coach Michael Malone one game without pay for going onto the court and making contact with an official during the Nuggets' loss to the Lakers.
    Malon...
  • MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd missed Monday's game against the Washington Wizards after the birth of his daughter.
    Kidd's wife, Porschla, gave birth to Cooper Anne Kidd on S...

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Nuggets vs. Kings Prediction Are the Denver Nuggets laying too many points tonight to the Sacramento Kings? Or is Denver a good bet to cover with Sacramento struggling?
Thumbnail Hawks vs. Spurs Prediction The San Antonio Spurs are nearly double-digit home favorites tonight against the visiting Atlanta Hawks. Will the Spurs cover the big number or will the Hawks keep it...
Thumbnail Clippers vs. Knicks Prediction Will the struggling Los Angeles Clippers fall once again when they visit the New York Knicks tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET? The Clippers are...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Mavericks Pick Are the Boston Celtics going to win a 16th straight game and cover the spread tonight at the Dallas Mavericks? Game time...
Thumbnail Thunder vs. Pelicans Pick Are the New Orleans Pelicans going to protect their home court tonight when they welcome in the Oklahoma City Thunder...

NBA Team Pages