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Heat vs Raptors Betting Odds – Raptors to keep rolling

Posted by Craig Parsons on 1/26/2010 1:02:46 PM

NBA Odds: Pick Michigan State

The Toronto Raptors recently defeated the Western Conference’s leading team, the Los Angeles Lakers, by one point. The Miami Heat just lost to the Eastern Conference’s leading team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, by a single point. These two teams now meet north of the border, in the third installment of a four-game season series.

WHAT: NBA Betting
WHEN: Wednesday, January 27th - 7:05 PM ET
WHERE: Air Canada Center – Toronto, Ontario, CAN
KEY STAT: Miami is 10-10 on the road; Toronto is 15-6 at home

The Storyline - Heat vs Raptors betting odds breakdown
Both of these teams are jockeying for playoff positioning and the right to stay above the .500 mark. The Heat – currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings – are two games over the break-even point, while Toronto – currently sixth in the East – goes into this encounter one game above .500. Miami started 6-1 while Toronto stumbled to losses in 17 of its first 28 games. Yet, in reversals of Sportsbook odds, the Heat have cooled off and the Raptors have risen to new heights in recent weeks.

Offensive Matchups - Heat vs Raptors betting odds breakdown 
The Heat score 97.4 points per game, while the potent Raptors average 103.6 points each time they take the court. Miami’s offense runs entirely through Dwyane Wade, who is averaging just over 27 points per game while also finding the time to hand out six assists every night. Michael Beasley is Miami’s second most reliable scorer, but the agile forward can’t do much on his own if Wade isn’t forcing defenses to double-team him and collapse on him.

Toronto poses matchup problems for Miami across the board. An inverse of the offense-challenged Heat, the Raptors easily put the ball in the bucket but simply can’t stop people. Chris Bosh is throwing down roughly 27 points per game, and his fellow post player, Andrea Bargnani, tallies 17.3 points per outing. Whereas Miami relies on its wings for scoring, Toronto’s bread is buttered near the rim. This creates havoc for defenses that are left scrambling by the Raptors’ ball movement.

Betting Edge: Raptors

Defensive Matchups - Heat vs Raptors betting odds breakdown
The Heat concede only 96.8 points per game, while the Raptors allow 104.9 points per contest. Because Miami is so dependent on Dwyane Wade at the offensive end, the Heat’s other starters, not to mention their reserves, must make their presence felt on defense. If guys like Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem aren’t defending and rebounding, there’s little reason for them to be on the floor. This is why Miami has a more defense-first personality.

Toronto owns one of the worst defenses in the NBA, but while the Raptors cough up a lot of points, they’ve been better in the past several weeks. Earlier in the season, Toronto was giving up more than 110 points on a regular basis. That number has gone down by several points in January.

Betting Edge: Heat

Notable Injuries - Heat vs Raptors betting odds breakdown
Miami’s lone injury belongs to reserve guard Daequan Cook. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard averages only 4.3 points per game, but he helped lengthen Miami’s rotation and could spell Dwyane Wade at times. Cook is listed as questionable for this game. His absence would mean that the Heat’s starters must play more extended minutes.

Toronto’s injury belongs to power forward Reggie Evans. The beefy post player from Iowa has been out for the entire season, and he’s going to remain out for the rest of January at the very least.

Betting Edge: Raptors

Betting Prediction - Heat vs Raptors betting odds breakdown
Home court means a lot when these two teams play… at least if their first two meetings this season are any indication. Toronto won at home against Miami, 120-113, on Nov. 20. A big key was that the Raptors’ bench outscored the Heat’s reserves, 36-10. When Miami returned the favor and ripped the Raptors on Dec. 15 by a 115-95 score, the Heat’s bench topped Toronto’s second squad by a 44-31 margin. Role players and reserves usually perform better at home , and this season’s two previous Toronto-Miami matchups have affirmed that piece of conventional basketball wisdom. Toronto has to love its chances at home in this game. Miami’s long commute from South Florida for this Wednesday battle will only increase the online betting odds in favor of the home team.


Craig’s Pick: Raptors

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge daily.



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