Toronto at Charlotte NBA Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the best team in the East and are two-time conference champions. They are also heavy favorites to make it three in a row. But if there’s one team that could take out Cleveland, it’s likely high-scoring Toronto. The Raptors still have a shot at the East’s best record but need to win games like Friday’s at struggling Charlotte. Let’s take a look at the NBA odds for the game.
Toronto at Charlotte Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
Why Bet on Toronto?
There was good news and bad news for Toronto on Wednesday against Philadelphia. The bad was that forwards Patrick Patterson (knee) and Lucas Nogueira (concussion) didn’t play. Patterson’s knee injury has kept him to just two games in 2017. Nogueira had some blurred vision on Tuesday and is still in the concussion protocol. But on the bright side, Jared Sullinger (foot) made his season debut. Sullinger will likely have a minutes limit for the foreseeable future off foot surgery.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 36 points, 11 rebounds and six assists Tuesday in Brooklyn. It was the fifth time that DeRozan had at least a share of the lead for the Raptors in points, assists, and rebounds in the same game (Last: Mar. 12, 2016 vs. Miami) and second time he was the outright leader in each category (Last: Feb. 6, 2015 vs. L.A. Clippers). DeRozan also became the second player in team history to have 20 30-point games in a season; joining Vince Carter who had 30 in 2000-01 and 25 in 1999-2000.
DeRozan was named Eastern Conference player of the week for games Jan. 9-15. He is the first player in team history to win the honor three times in the same season. DeRozan has now scored 20-or- more points in a career-high 13 consecutive games (Dec. 23 – Jan. 17), including a season-high 41 points Jan. 10 vs. Boston. He is averaging 29.0 points, while shooting .458 (137-for- 299) from the field during this stretch. DeRozan ranks third in team history for most 20-point games – Vince Carter (273), Chris Bosh (265) and DeRozan (262).
Terrence Ross is playing well off the bench lately, averaging 13.0 points while shooting .474 (9-for- 19) from three-point range over the past three. Ross leads all Eastern Conference reserves with 70 made three-pointers this season.
The Raptors won the lone meeting with Charlotte this season 113-111 on Nov. 11. DeRozan scored 34 points as the Raptors snapped the Hornets’ four-game winning streak at the time. DeRozan shot 14-of-26 from the field and made several key jumpers down the stretch as the Raptors erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Raptors have won the past three vs. Charlotte overall.
Why Bet on Charlotte?
The Hornets are no doubt glad to be home after completing a five-game road trip at 0-5 on Monday in Boston with a 109-98 defeat. Top reserve Jeremy Lamb missed the game and then also sat out Wednesday vs. Portland. He’s dealing with a foot injury.
Hornets guard Kemba Walker totaled 919 points at the halfway point of the season (41 games). 919 points is the second best total and only two points shy of the individual franchise best total through the team’s first 41 games, which was set by Glen Rice during the 1996-97 season (921 points). Rice finished that campaign with a single-season franchise record 2,115 points, the franchise’s sole 2,000-point season.
Among five-player lineups that have played over 300 minutes together this season, the Hornet lineup of Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller have the fifth best total net points in the NBA (+80). When those five start this season, the team is 13-10 (.565).
Since 12/1, Batum is averaging 16.2 points on 40.6 percent from the field, 7.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals. Prior to 12/1, Batum was averaging 13.4 points on 38.6 percent from the field, 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.0 steals. Batum has totaled nine games this season with 20-plus points, seven of which have come since 12/1. In his ninth season, Batum is averaging a career-high in points per game (15.0).
In the first meeting with Toronto, Walker scored 40 points on 12-of- 19 shooting, including 7-of- 12 from 3-point range. He also had 10 rebounds and six assists. With the game tied at 97, Batum drove the lane and dished to Zeller for a dunk. Williams followed with a 3 from the top of the arc to push Charlotte’s lead to five with 4 minutes remaining. But then the Raptors would rally.
Toronto at Charlotte Expert Pick: Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are a much better team at home so they should be good underdog betting value.