We have been robbed of the joy of getting to see Kyle Lowry facing his former team, the Toronto Raptors, for the first time since the franchise icon signed with the Miami Heat this offseason.
Lowry is sitting this one out for personal reasons, so with the fanfare of the matchup gone, can the Raptors focus on the task at hand and provide NBA bettors value as a live underdog in this Eastern Conference clash?
Find out in our free NBA betting picks and predictions for Raptors vs. Heat on January 17.
Raptors vs Heat odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
The Raptors opened this Eastern Conference matchup as 3.5-point underdogs but have seen the early money as the line has moved to 3. The total hit the board at 211.5 but as word came out that Lowry wouldn’t play the number has been bet all the way down to 207.5.
Raptors vs Heat predictions
- Prediction: Raptors +3 (-110)
- Prediction: Over 207.5 (-110)
- Best bet: Jimmy Butler Over 0.5 made threes (+120)
Predictions made on 01/17/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Raptors vs Heat game info
• Location: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
• Date: Monday, January 17, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: Sportsnet, Bally Sports Florida
Raptors vs Heat betting preview
Raptors: Khem Birch C (Out), Gary Trent Jr. SG (Questionable).
Heat: Kyle Lowry PG (Out), Markieff Morris PF (Out), Bam Adebayo C (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Raptors are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as an underdog while the Heat are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games as a home favorite. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Heat.
Raptors vs Heat picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Most Raptors fans were looking for looking forward to seeing Kyle Lowry again, even if it was a member of the Heat. But instead, they’ll just have to enjoy watching the Raptors as underdogs tonight against the Heat.
Aside from the only thing that can be described as Dwane Casey owning their soul, the Raptors have played very well lately, winning seven of their last nine games and are coming off an impressive 103-96 win over the Milwaukee Buck as 7.5-point underdogs.
Meanwhile, the Heat just saw their four-game winning streak come to end last time out against the Philadelphia 76ers and now could be getting back Bam Adebayo. Miami looks like the better team on paper, ranking in the Top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating.
But the Raptors have really picked up their game of late (if you don’t count the Pistons game of course) as well and they rank in the Top 10 in both categories over this nine-game stretch. Toronto should also get a key piece back in rookie Scottie Barnes and potentially Gary Trent Jr.
The Raptors tend to play to the level of their competition and this one should be close. On top of that, the Raptors have been a fantastic bet of late, going 11-3-1 ATS over their last 15 games.
Prediction: Raptors +3 (-110)
At 207.5 this game has the lowest total on the board but it might be just low enough to consider jumping on the Over.
The Raptors will be close to full health for this game and they have upped their scoring to 110.4 and rank 10th in offensive rating over their last nine games. This has been led by the performances of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam.
VanVleet is looking like an All-star, averaging 27.9 points while shooting 44.4% on his 12.3 3-point attempts per game over his last 11 games while adding 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds. Siakam on the other hand is playing his best basketball since 2019 putting up 24.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists over his last 11 games.
They face a Miami defense that has fallen off a bit on the defensive end, ranking 16th in defensive rating since the calendar flipped over to 2022.
But the Heat offense hasn’t cooled off in the New Year, ranking second in the NBA since Jan. 1, and now get Adebayo back. And while the Raptors defense is great at getting in passing lanes and causing turnovers but that aggressive nature can burn them resulting in a lot of opponents getting wide-open threes. The Heat rank second in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage.
Prediction: Over 207.5 (-110)
Jimmy Butler is coming off a horrific shooting night going just 1-11 from the field in the loss to the Sixers but this is a good spot to bet Jimmy Buckets to bounce back.
Butler doesn’t shoot a ton of threes per game, but with no Kyle Lowry playing he could take a couple more shots for the Heat tonight, and getting plus-money for him to hit one shot from deep tonight seems like a great bet.
Pick: Jimmy Butler Over 0.5 made threes (+120)
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