Heat vs. Raptors Pick
Which team in the East will pick up a key win in the playoff race when the Toronto Raptors host the Miami Heat tonight at 7:30PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Raptors are favored at home, as they are getting odds of -5.5 points against the Heat. The over/under total for the game is listed at 206 points. Toronto has won and covered the spread in two of three meetings with the Heat this season.
The Raptors are coming off a 105-102 win at Detroit on Wednesday, overcoming an early 20-point deficit. Toronto is now 48-31 on the season and tied for the third spot in the East with the Wizards. Toronto is now 43-35-1 against the spread after covering over Detroit. The Raptors are averaging 107.1 points per game on offense while allowing 103.1 on defense. Over their last five games, Toronto is both scoring and allowing 105 points per game. The team got a big boost on Wednesday when Kyle Lowry returned from injury. He is averaging 22.8 points and 6.9 assists per game. DeMar DeRozan is leading the team with 27 points per game.
Miami is coming off a 112-99 win at Charlotte on Wednesday night to move to 38-40 on the season. The Heat are ½ a game behind the Bulls and Pacers for the final two spots in the East. Miami sits at 46-31-1 against the spread this season as well. The Heat are averaging 102.9 points per game on offense while allowing just 101.9 on defense. Over its last five, Miami is putting up 104.2 on offense while giving up just 99.4 on defense. Goran Dragic is averaging 20.3 points and 5.9 assists per game to lead the team while Hassan Whiteside adds 16.7 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.12 blocks per contest.
Both teams have a lot to play for tonight, which tells me that the Heat should be able to keep this competitive. Miami has been playing very well for the second half of the season while the Raptors still need to get accustomed to having Lowry back in the lineup. Toronto has its playoff spot and is only playing for a difference in one seed. Miami is playing for its playoff lives. I am going to go with the Heat, who should be more desperate.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MIAMI HEAT +5.5