Chicago at Toronto NBA Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Monday,March 20, 2017 11:04, EST in

The Toronto Raptors have been a good team the past few seasons. So how is it that they have lost 11 straight games to the Chicago Bulls? It’s not like the Bulls have been all that great. I believe that streak comes to an end on Tuesday, and the Raptors will be solid favorites in NBA odds.

Chicago at Toronto NBA Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Tuesday, March 21, 7 PM ET
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioChicago / Toronto
NBA Odds: Raptors favored by TBA

Why Bet on Chicago?

The Bulls probably are going to be a bad bet the rest of the season after losing Dwyane Wade to a broken elbow last week. Chicago wasn’t a very good offensive team even with Wade, who was averaging 18.5 points per game. No team in the NBA has had more games go under the total this season than Chicago. Expect that to continue.

Chicago does come off a solid win Saturday, 95-86 over Utah. Bobby Portis scored a career-high 22 points and rookie Denzel Valentine notched his first career double-double to support Jimmy Butler’s 23 points. In their second game without Wade, the Bulls’ bench made the difference, outscoring Utah’s reserves 44-23.

It was the first time this season Portis scored 20 or more points in a game. The last NBA player to score 20-plus points coming off the bench immediately following a run of 12 games in which he started each game, but never reached 20, was San Antonio’s Danny Green in November 2014.

Valentine had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and hit consecutive 3-pointers with just over seven minutes remaining in the game to give Chicago (33-37) a lead it would not relinquish. Valentine was actually having a terrible game and made just 1-of- 8 in the first three quarters, but he sizzled in the fourth with nine points on 3-of- 4 from the field. The Bulls, who won for just the second time in nine games,outscored the Jazz 34-22 in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls’ 11-game winning streak against the Raptors is the longest since a 15-game run from Dec. 18, 2002 to Dec. 29, 2006. They claimed the last game in the series 105-94 thanks to 20 points off the bench from Doug McDermott and Butler’s 19 points (15-of- 19 FT) and 12 assists. McDermott has since been traded. One of Butler’s strengths this season has been at the charity stripe: He’s fourth in the league in free throws made per game with 7.7, and tied for fourth in free throw attempts per game with 8.9. The last time the Bulls lost to the Raptors was Dec. 31, 2013.

Why Bet on Toronto?

The Raptors remain without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and have struggled some of late without him. He should be back for the playoffs. Toronto is 9-5 without Lowry in the lineup this season. Lowry has missed 13 games since the All-Star break following surgery on his right wrist. He also rested Jan. 17at Brooklyn. Prior to Lowry’s injury, the Raptors were averaging 108.5 points and 9.2 three-pointers in 57 games.

DeMar DeRozan is averaging a team-high 25.8 points, while shooting .464 (115-for- 248) from the field in 14 games without Lowry. Cory Joseph is averaging 12.7 points, 4.6 assists and shooting .486 (71-for- 146) from the field during 14 starts in Lowry’s place.

Toronto has won eight consecutive games when holding opponents under 100 points and 19-4 overall when opponents are held under the century-mark for the season. The last time the Raptors lost when holding an opponent under 100 points was Jan. 18 at Philadelphia (L 94-89). Toronto has held Indiana under 100 points in 14 of the last 15 regular-season meetings (Oct. 31, 2012 – Apr. 8, 2016).

Toronto ranks first in the NBA defensively over the last 15 games holding opponents to 21.4 points in the fourth quarter. The Raptors held Detroit to an opponent season-low nine fourth quarter points during an 87-75 victory Mar. 17. Toronto has out-scored opponents by a +109 (408-to- 299) margin in\ the final frame. The Raptors have only been outscored once in the fourth quarter during this stretch (Mar. 10 at Atlanta). Memphis is the next closest team during this span with a +54 fourth quarter scoring margin.

The Raptors secured their fourth straight 40-win season with an 87-75 victory March 17 at Detroit. Toronto has already secured a winning record at Air Canada Centre for a fifth straight season. The Raptors are 23-12 with six home games remaining.

Chicago at Toronto Expert Pick: Toronto Raptors

Toronto ends the 11-game losing streak.