Brooklyn Nets (21-22) at Toronto Raptors(31-12)
NBA Basketball: Friday, January 11, 2019, 7:30PM ET; Scotia Bank Arena
Odds: Toronto Raptors -9.5
Free ESPN NBA pick Brooklyn Nets vs Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors host a Brooklyn Nets team making a surprising playoff push before the All Star Break as they look to end a 4 year long playoff drought. Raptors are on a 3 game winning streak as they have compiled a 7-3 record in the last 10 games. The Nets have begun their year on a tear with a 4-1 start that has seen them jump to the 7th seed in the eastern conference, a mere .5 games behind the 6th seed Miami Heat.
Raptors have been struggling to get their regular starting 5 on court this season but they are starting to see some regular minutes from their starting 5. Raptors boast one of the deepest squads in the league but Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard both have missed 9 games this season which has led to a few questionable losses for a team that has looked better than the historically brilliant Raptors of last year.(29 point loss to Magic, 25 point loss to 76ers Jonas Valanciunas will miss the game on home game against the Nets.
Kyle Lowry has been the perfect complementary superstar to Kawhi Leonard this season. Kyle Lowry is a dogged defender and with 3-D maverick Danny Green, former DPOY Kawhi Leonard and emerging stud Pascal Siakim playing regular minutes along him, Raptors have a shot at showing a stark improvement in their defensive efficiency (ranked 10 in defensive rating).
Kawhi Leonard has fit in well with the Raptors team. He is putting together an impressive season while posting MVP caliber numbers in a squad that dominated the east last year in regular season with DeRozan as their primary leader only to crash into a freight train named LeBron James. Well, that train has moved towards west, Raptors do not have any excuses now, this year is their best chance to win a championship, which could go a long way in making Kawhi Leonard’s mind about his future.
Nets began their 2019 on a high as they have moved to 7th seed in the East after going 6-4 in their last 10 and remain one win shy of .500. With Spencer Dinwiddie finding his touch and D’Angello Russell starting the year on a high, the Nets are 4-1 in January with their only loss coming to a far superior Boston Celtics team. The Nets have consistently won the games they should be winning in the last month while also picking up big wins against the Lakers and the 76ers.
Brooklyn have been propelled into Eastern Conference relevancy thanks to some impressive play by their young players. D-Loading always looked likely to be the leader of the pack and Spencer Dinwiddie has quietly had himself another impressive season coming off the bench. Jarrett Allen is nearly averaging double-double with 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds while Russell is averaging a career high 18 points and 6.3 assists only in his 3rd season in the league.
The Brooklyn Nets bench is averaging a league leading 21.1 minutes a game and is the second best bench in terms of scoring in the league with 47 points. The Nets are 16th in the scoring, 18th in field goal percentage while 14th highest rebounds per game in the league. They’ll need to improve on those numbers if they are to keep themselves in playoff contention and from what they have shown, they have the squad to do it.
CTS 365 Betting Trends
Toronto is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games
Toronto is 4-7-1 ATS in its last 12 games when playing at home against Brooklyn
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Brooklyn
Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Brooklyn is 1-12 SU in its last 13 games when playing Toronto
Brooklyn is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Toronto
Free ESPN NBA pick Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets
Nets have already pulled off an upset against the Raptors this season in a 106-105 overtime win while both Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry were on the floor. However, given their recent record against the top 10 teams of the NBA, chances of a Nets win look bleak but given their recent form, this match up may spring a few surprises on you as it finishes with a comfortable Raptors win.
Pick: Raptors -9.5