The Toronto Raptors haven’t played since last Friday thanks to the NBA In-Season Tournament, so they should be well-rested heading into tonight’s matchup with the visiting Miami Heat.
That means the return of Raptors GOAT Kyle Lowry. But Lowry and the Heat will be shorthanded for this matchup with starters Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro both sidelined for the next little while.
Those are big holes to fill for Miami, and with Toronto being a better team at home, the NBA odds have the Raps as slight favorites.
I break down this Eastern Conference matchup and bring you the best bet in my NBA picks and predictions for Heat vs. Raptors.
Heat vs Raptors odds
Heat vs Raptors predictions
The Raptors just haven’t been able to put together a good stretch of consistent basketball. For example, they recently followed up an impressive win over the Suns with a listless performance against the Knicks.
Overall, what has held this Raptors team back has been its inefficient offense, which basically boils down to a lack of shooters. Toronto ranks 22nd in offensive rating and 24th in effective field goal percentage. But it has proven this season that it can show up against average to worse defensive teams.
And even with Bam Adebayo in the lineup, this hasn’t been the same Heat defense we have been used to over the years. Miami ranks 16th in defensive rating and 26th in opponent-effective field goal percentage this season.
The Raptors should have another edge in this matchup — and that's on the glass. Not having Adebayo is clearly a problem for the Heat in many ways, but he's also the team’s best rebounder. That will be an issue for a Miami unit that already ranks 20th in rebounding rate. Toronto on the other hand ranks 11th.
No Adebayo and Tyler Herro also holds the Heat back on offense, and now they’ll face a solid Raptors defense that ranks 13th in defensive rating and 14th in opponent eFG%. That will also allow the Raptors' top defenders, OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes, to key on Jimmy Butler in this matchup and try to force the other Heat player to beat them.
I believe that with the Heat’s injuries, the Raptors are being a little undervalued in this spot. It’s been a rarity this season, but I like the Raptors to cover the spread at Scotiabank Arena tonight, where they're 4-1 ATS in their last five there.
My best bet: Raptors -3 (-110 at Pointsbet)
Heat vs Raptors same-game parlay
As always, our same game parlay tips off with my best bet. One of the reasons I like that bet is because the Raptors' inconsistent shooting will have a chance to find its rhythm against this Heat defense, particularly without Adebayo.
On top of everything else we talked about, the Heat have struggled on the perimeter. Miami ranks 23rd in opponent 3-pointers made per game and 26th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage. So, let’s look at Anunoby’s 3-pointers prop. OG is the Raptors' best 3-point shooter this season hitting 40% of his 6.3 attempts from deep per game. Add him to make 2+ three-pointers tonight.
Once again, no Adebayo means there should be little resistance on the inside for Jakob Poeltl. The Raps big is averaging 11.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season and those numbers have bumped up to 12.1 and 9.1 over his last 10 games. Let’s close this SGP out with him to go Over his points + rebounds prop, sitting at 21.5 against a depleted Miami interior.
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Heat vs Raptors spread and Over/Under analysis
The Raptors opened this matchup as 3-point favorites with the Heat missing several key players, with 3.5s starting to pop up at some shops.
On top of the injury situation for the Heat, the Raptors have had a habit of playing Miami tough the last couple of seasons even though Miami has been the better team. Toronto has won five of the last seven meetings against Miami despite being favored in just three of those matchups.
The total, on the other hand, has seen a little more action. That hit the board at 217 and has been bet up to 220 as of Wednesday afternoon.
However, this number is now high enough that I may consider the Under. The Heat could have trouble scoring in this one without Adebayo and Herro vs. a solid Raptors defense. And while the Raptors offense can pop off at times, their inconsistent shooting problems will always linger. Mix in that these two teams are in the bottom third of the NBA in pace and the Under feels like the right side of the total.
Heat vs Raptors betting trend to know
The Raptors have covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings with the Heat. Find more NBA betting trends for Heat vs. Raptors.
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Heat vs Raptors game info
|Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
|Wednesday, December 6, 2023
|7:30 p.m. ET
|Bally Sports Sun, TSN
Heat vs Raptors latest injuries
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