I will be shooting for my 60th correct NBA pick of the year on Wednesday night, following a very nice stretch. I scored two nice wins recently with the Spurs downing the Timberwolves and the Mavs beating the spread against the Raptors.
Those two wins were part of a stellar 7-2 run over my previous nine picks.
A mild hiatus kept me away from the NBA picks scene over the last few days, but I walk into the ferocious NBA betting winds tonight with a solid 59-47-2 record behind me.
Wednesday promises to be an interesting slate, as this schedule offers up a ton of star power with eight games hitting the docket. There are plenty of viable paths to consider here, too, with six of the eight contests opening with a -7.5 spread or lower.
Of the lot, the game that catches my eye the most goes down in Cleveland, where LeBron Jame and the Cavs play host to the Toronto Raptors.
Normally I’d be all over Toronto here, but there actually could be a lot working against them.
The first issue is that just like when I bet against Toronto against the Mavs last week, fatigue could set in here. The Raptors are on a blistering run (9-1 over their last 10 games), but they did just play last night in Orlando and this will be their fifth game in the last eight days.
Not only could Toronto be a bit worn down in this spot, but they’ll also have to try to corral the Cavs on the road. Cleveland happens to be at their best (23-11) at the Quicken Loans Arena, while Toronto has dropped 12 of their 18 losses outside of Canada this year.
Is that enough to bet against Toronto in this spot? Let’s break this matchup down a little further to find out:
First off, this Total is a bit out of control. Toronto plays at a very average pace and they defend (4th in defensive efficiency) as well as anyone.
Cleveland’s defense remains abysmal and the Raptors have been known to struggle a bit on the road, which really gives this wager a wash for me. If I had to wager here I’d bet the Under, but it’s just a dangerous bet in all regards.
I really like the value you’re getting with both teams as SU bets. Both have fairly valid arguments, while a 1.5-point spread is not tantalizing no matter which way you look at it.
Toronto as +108 underdogs (at 5Dimes) is very interesting. They’re obviously on fire right now and probably want to keep winning so they can secure both the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division title.
The two big problems for Toronto I already touched on are rather key, though. This is not a team that necessarily excels on the road. The Raptors struggled their way to a 93-86 win in Orlando against a woeful Magic team last night after all.
On the year, Toronto is 21-15 ATS as a road team, but when you factor in the potential fatigue and the fact that they’re taking on a Cavs team that is just now getting healthy, I think they could be in some trouble.
The return of Kevin Love is huge for Cleveland. The big man scored 18 points in a clutch win over the rival Milwaukee Bucks two days ago and he’ll be back again tonight to help the Cavs dispatch the Raptors.
Toronto does have the defensive tools to fend off Love and the rest of the Cavs and they did make quick work of Cleveland 133-99 in Toronto earlier this year.
That’s all worth noting, but that game wasn’t in Cleveland and the Cavs were also a completely different team. Cleveland is now at full strength and with three wins over their last four games, they may have the manpower and mentality needed to fend off the Indiana Pacers for the Central Division crown.
Both of these teams still have some work to do to cement their playoff seed, but if one is to be victim of complacency, I think tonight it’d be Toronto. The Raptors have absolutely looked like the better team all year long, but consider this a possible statement game for the Cavs.
Toronto is tired, traveling and facing a solid Cleveland team getting healthy at the right time. I say the advantage lies with the Cavs at home and I also don’t hate the -110 value at GTbets.
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