Suns vs Raptors – NBA Pick for December 5th

by Kevin Roberts
on December 5, 2017

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons to get me yet another win on Monday night, which pushed my season NBA picks record to a blistering 25-10-2.

That win also has me on a nice three-game winning streak and on Tuesday I’ll try to make it four in a row. Doing so will admittedly be a challenge, of course, as the pickings are slim on a weak three-game NBA betting slate.

There is not much to like in this spot, but one game that appeals to me resides in Toronto, where the Raptors play host to the Phoenix Suns.

Phoenix comes in as massive +13.5 underdogs and could be a bit worn down after beating the Philadelphia 76ers last night. Devin Booker was on fire, as he dropped in 46 points in the big win.

It’s unlikely the 9-16 Suns are about to win their second straight game, largely because they’ve proven to be impossible to trust this year and they’re also not good (5-7) away from home.

That, and Toronto is extremely tough to beat at the Air Canada Centre, where the Raptors are off to a scorching 8-1 record. The Suns would provide an amazing upset win for bettors (+875 at 5Dimes), but I’m not seeing the logic behind it.

Instead, the play is two-fold tonight. Either you’re rolling with the Raptors to cover this gaudy spread at home, or you’re playing with a gross 225.5 Total.

Phoenix Suns (+13.5)
Toronto Raptors (-13.5)
Total: 225.5

Taking the Raptors at -13.5 isn’t out of the question. Toronto has been very good at home and overall has been solid (12-9) against the spread this year.

Unfortunately, this is a big spread bettors are forced to work with and the Raptors oddly enough have been fairly pedestrian (5-4) against the spread as home favorites. Phoenix has been playing better ball lately, too, while the Suns have been fairly respectable (11-13-1) ATS on the year.

The Suns are traditionally a team that can fall apart on the road, but they’ve been annoyingly good (7-4-1) against the spread to start the 2017-18 NBA season. The Raptors can top this mark in a blowout win, but a 14-point win to cover is still asking a lot.

For me, I normally only love that bet if I’m dealing with the Golden State Warriors, so I’m moving off of that. In that same breath, do I trust the Suns enough on the road to beat the spread? No, I don’t, so this is just a wager I am off of in every regard.

The one betting angle I love is the Over. There is no denying that a 225.5 Total is pretty high. However, the Raptors have improved offensively this year (110 points per game) and actually grade out as the league’s 4th most efficient offense.

Toronto can often run into trouble when it comes to the Total due to their solid defense and slow pace, but against a bad Suns defense, I don’t think that will be an issue. Phoenix does not stop teams from scoring points and currently rank 28th in terms of defensive efficiency.

That’s all going to put the Raptors in position to thrive offensively, but I don’t hate the Suns for this bet, either. Phoenix may not be efficient and they have a tough road matchup, but the Suns still push the pace (2nd fastest team in the league) and average over 107 points per game on the year.

Whether bettors get a tighter than expected shootout or a Raptors blowout win, I love the upside this game provides in terms of scoring. Devin Booker and T.J. Warren come in red hot for the Suns, while Toronto has Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in mid-season form right now, as well.

This is a gaudy Total, but this could be the perfect spot to target it. Adding to the intrigue? The Over is 15-10 for the Suns this year.

Pick: Over 225.5 (-115)
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