Toronto at New Orleans NBA Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Tuesday,March 7, 2017 8:43, EDT in

The Toronto Raptors make their only visit of the season to New Orleans on Wednesday night and it’s an important game for both. The Raptors are battling Washington for the No. 3 seed in the East, while the Pelicans are fighting a few teams for the final West playoff spot. New Orleans will be a slight betting underdog in the NBA spreads.

Toronto at New Orleans NBA Spread, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Wednesday, March 8, 8 PM ET
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
TV: NBA League Pass
Stream: NBA.tv
RadioToronto / New Orleans
NBA Odds: Raptors favored by TBA

Why Bet on Raptors?

Toronto will be well-rested at least as it continued a five-game road trip on Saturday with a 101-94 loss in Milwaukee, a night after a huge win in Washington. Toronto led 19-12 after the first quarter, with Milwaukee making just four of 22 shots (18 percent). It marked the Bucks’ lowest first-quarter point total of the season. But the Bucks were up 11 at the half.

DeMar DeRozan struggled to score and didn’t reach double figures until the waning moments of the game. Teams have been focusing their attention on DeRozan with Kyle Lowry out of the lineup with a wrist injury. DeRozan made just 5-of- 13 from the field for 11 points vs. the Bucks.

DeRozan is 19 points away from becoming the first player in franchise history to record 11,000 career points with the Raptors. In eight seasons with Toronto he has compiled a franchise-best 10,981 points in 577 games. DeRozan was selected ninth overall by the Raptors in the 2009 NBA Draft. Only two players from the 2009 draft class have reached 11,000 career points – James Harden (13,078) and Stephen Curry (12,609).

DeRozan is averaging a team-high 30.0 points since the NBA All-Star break. He scored a career-high 43 points Feb. 24 vs. Boston which started a streak of three consecutive 30-point games (Feb. 24-27) following the break. DeRozan is averaging a career-best 27.6 points this season. Vince Carter holds the team single-season scoring average record with 27.6 points during the 2000-01 season.

DeMarre Carroll (ankle) didn’t go through practice on Monday. He suffered a left ankle sprain on Saturday vs. the Bucks and didn’t return, but he’s considered day-to- day. Carroll noted that he has a “high pain threshold,” but he didn’t know if he would be able to play on Wednesday. P.J. Tucker and Norman Powell will both benefit if Carroll misses more time.

Over the last seven games, Toronto’s defense ranks fourth in the NBA holding opponents to 98.7 points and third in opponent field goal percentage (.431). Toronto ranks second in the NBA over the last seven games holding opponents to 21.7 points in the fourth quarter and fifth with a .393 opponent field goal percentage. The Raptors also lead the NBA with a +70-point differential (222-to- 152) in the final frame since Feb. 15.

Why Bet on New Orleans?

The Pelicans won their first game with DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup Sunday, 105-97 at the Lakers. Cousins had 26 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out. Anthony Davis added 31 points for the Pelicans, who swept the season series for the second straight year and just the second time ever. The Pels had won a game while Cousins was serving a one-game suspension after earning his 18th technical of the season. Cousins passed the 10,000-point threshold for his career on Sunday.

“The ball has to go into [Cousins] more,” coach Alvin Gentry said before the game. “The more he creates double teams the easier the game is on the perimeter, but we have to get him the ball.”

Jrue Holiday dished out 12 assists to go along with 20 points, five rebounds and three steals during Sunday’s road win vs. the Lakers. It’s been a struggle for Holiday to adjust to the arrival of Cousins, whose ball-dominance has occasionally relegated Jrue to spectator status.

Jordan Crawford has officially signed a 10-day contract with the Pelicans. The Pelicans have very little depth at the two-spot, so there’s a chance Crawford will be able to find quality minutes in New Orleans. He’s was averaging 22.8 points per game in the D-League this season, and the last time he suited up for an NBA regular-season game during the 2013-14 season he dropped 41 points in a win over the Nuggets as a member of the Warriors.

New Orleans currently holds a 104.5 defensive rating, good for seventh in the NBA. Last season, the Pelicans finished the season with a 107.3 defensive rating, ranking them 28th in the league.

Toronto beat New Orleans 108-106 in OT earlier this season. Davis recorded 18 points , 17 rebounds and three blocks. Holiday posted a team-high 30 points, three assists and two blocks. Lowry scored a game-high 33 points, 10 assists and four rebounds for Toronto. Valanciunas scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. New Orleans has only won three of their last 14 meetings with Toronto.

Toronto at New Orleans Free Pick: New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans might take off now that it finally got the W monkey off its back with Cousin.