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Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks

Toronto Raptors (8-3) at Dallas Mavericks (6-5)

NBA: Saturday, November 16th, 2019 at 8:30 pm ET (American Airlines Center)

Line and Odds: Dallas Mavericks -3.5 Over/Under: 218

Free ESPN NBA Picks Dallas Mavericks vs. Toronto Raptors

Toronto

Despite the loss of last year’s NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors have played high-quality basketball in the 2019-2020 season. The defending champions have an 8-3 record on the year, which places them in the top 4 of the Eastern Conference standings. The Raptors are currently 2nd in the Atlantic Division, behind the Boston Celtics. This is nothing to be ashamed of because the Celtics have proven to be one of the best teams in the NBA through 11 games. What makes the 8-3 record so impressive is that most of their games have been on the road. 7 of their 11 games have been played away from Toronto. Each of their 3 losses have come to elite teams like the Celtics, the Bucks, and the Clippers. The Raptors’ depth, that we saw highlighted all throughout last season, has been a key to their success this season. Their best win of the season came on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers, even though Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka didn’t play! Toronto was able to rely on guys like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Norman Powell to secure the win.

The Toronto Raptors rank 6th in net rating, outscoring teams by an average of 5.8 points per 100 possessions. They rank 14th in offensive rating, scoring 108.5 points per 100 possessions. The strength of their offense is their ability to shoot. They rank 5th in effective field goal percentage with an eFG% of 54.0%. Toronto shoots 39.7% from the 3 point line, ranking 2nd in 3-point shooting. The Raptors also rank 2nd in free throw shooting, hitting 84.2% of their free throws. However, they fail to create a high number of scoring opportunities because of poor rebounding and sloppy ball handling. Toronto ranks 23rd in offensive turnover percentage and 29th in offensive rebound percentage. Just like last season, the Raptors have one of the best defenses in the NBA. Toronto ranks 6th in defensive rating, giving up 102.7 points per 100 possessions. The Raptors are 1st in effective field goal defense, allowing an eFG% of 47.4%. They rank 5th in free throw attempts allowed per 100 possessions, so teams are prevented from scoring from the free throw line as well as the field. Just like the offense, the defense’s turnover and rebounding stats are poor. The Raptors rank 26th in defensive turnover percentage and 28th in defensive rebound percentage.

Dallas

Dallas Mavericks’ fans should undoubtedly be excited about their bright future with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, because the young nucleus is already gelling quite nicely. They are off to a solid start, having gone 6-5 in their first 11 games of the season. Their record places them 2nd in the Southwest division, behind the red-hot Houston Rockets. However, the Mavericks have hit something of a skid, losing 3 of their last 4 games. 1 of those losses was to the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics, but the other two losses were to the lowly New York Knicks. Most recently, they are coming off of a 106-103 road loss to the Knicks in Porzingis’ first return to Madison Square Garden. Luka Doncic had a 33 point, 11 assist, 10 rebound triple-double. Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and 11 rebounds as his former fans booed throughout the game. Despite these big games by their stars, Dallas had an uncharacteristically poor offensive night. Dallas shot just 42.9% from the floor and 22.2% from 3. Dallas also allowed the Knicks to outrebound them 62 to 48. Two of New York’s 3 wins on the year have been against the Dallas Mavericks. In order to become a team relevant in the Western Conference’s playoff race, they will need to start beating the teams they are “supposed” to beat.

The Mavericks rank 12th in net rating, outscoring opponents by 2.4 points per 100 possessions. The most recent Knicks game can be seen as an outlier, because the Mavericks’ offense has been one of the best in the NBA. Dallas ranks 2nd in offensive rating, scoring 112.9 points per 100 possessions. The Mavericks rank in the top 10 in all 4 of the offensive “four factors.” Dallas is 9th in both effective field goal percentage and free throws made per field goal attempted. They are 4th in offensive turnover percentage and 8th in offensive rebound percentage. Dallas’ offense has proven to have very few flaws through the first 11 games of the season. As explosive as the offense has been this season, coach Rick Carlisle is surely not happy about the level of the defense played. The Mavericks allow 110.5 points per 100 possessions, which places them 20th in defensive rating. The Mavs’ defense also ranks 20th in effective field goal defense (52.9%). They force turnovers on just 11.8% of their opponents’ offensive plays. Defensively, the Mavericks do succeed at limiting their opponents’ free throw attempts. They allow just 20.1 free throw attempts per 100 possessions.

Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends

Raptors

Toronto is 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games.

Toronto is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games against Dallas.

Toronto is 7-2 SU in their last 9 games this season.

Mavericks

The total has gone OVER in 8 of Dallas’ last 10 games.

Dallas is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games at home.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas’ last 5 games when playing at home against Toronto.

ESPN NBA Scores Toronto Raptors vs. Dallas Mavericks

I’m taking the Toronto Raptors +3.5 in this matchup. A +3.5 line would imply that the oddsmakers believe the Dallas Mavericks would be the slightest of favorites on a neutral court. I’m of the opinion that the Raptors are a better team than the Mavericks, even in today’s iterations of the respective teams. Raptors SF OG Anunoby has been upgraded to probable on the injury report, so the only 2 absences that I need to pay attention to are Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry. As I mentioned before, Toronto’s depth has been a strength of theirs for years. They are the type of team that can withstand injuries because they send waves of players at their opponent. Even little-known players like Terence Davis and Chris Boucher can rise off the bench and make big impacts on the outcomes of games, when called upon. I also like Toronto as an underdog here, because they fit the profile of dogs that I like to take. They hit threes, make their free throws, hold teams to low field goal percentages, and don’t foul their opponents. I’m happy to take the Raptors and the points in this one.

Toronto Raptors +3.5
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