NBA Free Pick | Raptors at Spurs
Game: Toronto Raptors (28-11, 16-22-1 ATS) at San Antonio Spurs (21-17, 22-16 ATS)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Current Line: SA -2 Total: 216.5
Current 1H Line: SA .5 Total: 109.5
TV Coverage: TNT, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet Ontario
Get your popcorn ready for this one, because you know there’s going to be some sparks when Kawhi Leonard plays his first game in San Antonio wearing anything other than a Spurs jersey.
Leonard’s season was limited to just 9 games last year, with reports coming out of trust issues with the Spurs organization. Well, those reports were obviously true and now he’s he’s a Raptor, trying to lead the team from the North where DeRozan couldn’t.
If you’ve been reading Rick’s articles, you know emotion has a lot to do when playing sports, and how different human emotional factors affect players and in turn, how bettors should use them to handicap games.
There is massive back-story entering this contest, and even though DeRozan’s buddy Kyle Lowry is doubtful with a back injury, and most likely won’t be in the lineup, hearts will be pounding a little faster and focus will be that much clearer tonight.
The Raps are only a half game back of the Bucks for top spot in the East while the Spurs are hanging tough at #7 in the West. Toronto is #7 in points per game (113.1) and the Spurs are #13 (111.5). Although both have similar rankings in opponent PPG with TOR #9 (107.5) and SA #12 (109.2), those averages are against lesser opponents more than 80% of the time.
Kawhi is really starting to find his stride of late, averaging over 30 points in his last 8 games, including 45 his last time out in a 122-116 win over the Jazz. He’ll score a third of the Raptors points tonight and finish with 40.
The Spurs have scored 120 or more the last two times out (Clippers and Celtics) and at the least they score 110 tonight.
NBA Free Pick: Raptors/Spurs OVER 216.5
Free pick by Joe Berra
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