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Raptors 76ers Betting Predictions – 76ers Need To Take Care Of Business Versus Raptors Friday

Posted by Craig Parsons on 1/16/2013 6:14:35 PM

The Philadelphia 76ers enter this sports betting weekend on the outside looking in to the Eastern Conference playoff picture after a rough two weeks in which they went just 2-8, now four games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for eighth place in the standings. While the focus of the 76ers is straight ahead, there are also a couple of teams right behind them in the standings that are closing in. One of those teams is the Toronto Raptors, which have come on strong over the past couple of months to climb out of the conference basement to make a legitimate push. Philadelphia still feels it can make the postseason, but any chance it has will come down to taking care of the teams behind them, including this Friday’s game against the Raptors.

Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers
Friday January 18, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NBA Sportsbook Line: Philadelphia – 2.5

That slow start likely cost Toronto a chance at this year’s playoffs, but there are some strong building blocks in place. Head coach Dwane Casey has send a major defensive improvement in his club since the beginning of the year, with a number of young players stepping up at both ends of the floor.

NBA Betting Preview: Toronto Raptors

An injury to Andrea Bargnani forced Casey to go with the tandem of Ed Davis and Amir Johnson up front, and that has been among the biggest reasons for the Raptors’ improvement defensively. Davis and Johnson are two hard working big men that have each averaged over 6.2 rebounds per game and close to 10 points, although Johnson could miss this game with a badly sprained ankle. Jose Calderon has bounced back with 10.7 points and a team-high 7.7 assists per game, including an excellent 4.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, and will remain the starter ahead of Kyle Lowry. Terrance Ross and Alan Anderson are two more young players that have pitched in, along with DeMar DeRozan.

NBA Betting Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Overall, it’s Philadelphia that has been the better defensive team this season, but they will have to work better as a team to avoid any letdowns. The 76ers are just one game above .500 at home following that 2-8 slide, and allowed the New Orleans Hornets to score 111 on them just this past Tuesday. A couple of days off and being back home should help, although Philadelphia will need more than just leading scorer Jrue Holliday to be taking care of business at that end of the floor. Holliday is averaging a team-high 19 points per game, but Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner need to each be more efficient up front.

NBA Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Almost nothing has gone right for the 76ers over the past two weeks, while Toronto has climbed the standings with a nice run that has them within striking distance of Philadelphia in the East. Look for the Raptors to keep this one close until the end, with the chance to score the online betting upset in the final minute of play.

NBA Betting Pick: Toronto Raptors


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