Cavaliers vs. Raptors Pick
Can the host Toronto Raptors cover the spread tonight versus the Cleveland Cavaliers despite the absence of point guard Kyle Lowry? Game time is set for 8PM ET.
Who Oddsmakers Like: Cleveland. According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Cavaliers are 3.5-point favorites on the spread line. The total sits at 223 points. Cleveland opened as a 1.5-point favorite, while the total has risen after opening at 220.
Who the Public Likes: Cleveland. As of Thursday afternoon, 66 percent of public bets have come in on the Cavaliers.
Injury Report: Cleveland point guard Derrick Rose is progressing from a sprained ankle and a bone spur, but it is unknown when he will return. Iman Shumpert is likely out through January after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. For the Raptors, Lowry has a bruised tailbone plus back spasms and is out tonight. Serge Ibaka is out with a one-game suspension after an altercation last game.
Who the Trends Like: Cleveland is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games in Toronto and 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings overall. The under is 21-7 in the last 28 meetings in Toronto.
Who We Like: While the injury to Lowry and the suspension to Ibaka doesn't help matters, I don't think it kills the Raptors. Delon Wright has been a revelation lately as backup point guard and played well in his first game filling in for Lowry as a starter in a 90-89 loss to Miami. Ibaka's presence will hurt, but expect a few more minutes out of Jonas Valunciunas and he has been very productive on a per minute basis lately. As for the scoring, DeMar Derozan's usage rate shoots up when Lowry is off the floor and the Cavs don't intimidate anyone defensively. Cleveland looked awful in its last game, a 127-99 loss at Minnesota, and I would trust the visiting team here.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: TORONTO RAPTORS +3.5
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