It seems as if the Miami Heat have found their kryptonite. In a back-to-back against the Indiana Pacers, they won the first game, but in their most recent game, they lost because Bruce Brown torched them again. A new team but a similar result for him pushed the Heat to an 11-9 record on the season. However, it was a positive that the Heat were able to see Jimmy Butler have a great game as he went on to drop 33 points, five rebounds, and five assists on the night. Now hoping to avoid their sixth loss in the last 13 days, the Heat will try to get a win on the road in Toronto against the Raptors.
The up-and-down season for the Toronto Raptors continued last week. After picking up a big-time win over the Phoenix Suns, the Raptors followed it up with a double-digit loss to the New York Knicks. This divisional game was highlighted by Scottie Barnes. In the losing effort, he was the best player on the floor, dropping 29 points on 13-19 shooting from the field. This type of efficiency has become routine for him this year as he has stepped up his game in a big way. Hopefully, his team can see more of this as they will host the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Heat-Raptors Odds
Miami Heat: +3.5 (-110)
Toronto Raptors: -3.5 (-110)
Over: 220 (-110)
Under: 220 (-110)
How to Watch Heat vs. Raptors
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT
TV: Miami- Bally Sports Sun Toronto- TSN
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
Although their backcourt has had a tough go at it this season with a significant injury to Tyler Herro and declining play from Kyle Lowry, the Heat have succeeded by limiting their turnovers. Ball security has been crucial in the success of this team. The Heat are averaging the sixth-fewest turnovers per game in the league with only 13.1. Aiding in this alongside Lowry are Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Josh Richardson, and Kevin Love. All of these players have a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio or higher. Lowry specifically has thrived in this department. While his numbers are not as good as they once were, his ball security is, as he holds a 4.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. This return to Toronto for him will be highlighted by his protective play at point to limit Toronto's opportunities to score points off of their turnovers.
While the Raptors have succeeded in scoring on the interior, they have lacked a presence beyond the arc. Although they are not at the very bottom of the league in three-point shooting, as they place 24th in three-pointers made per game, their efficiency causes them to lose games. The Raptors have the third-worst three-point field goal percentage in the league at an abysmal 33.7%. Toronto's three-point shooting is one of the worst aspects of this team and will cause them to fall behind in this one.
Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread
Unfortunately, we are at that time of the season when injuries begin to mount up for teams and play a massive role in determining the outcomes of games. It looks like that will also be the case in this game. Coming into this game, the Heat will be without Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. The loss of these two players who are not traveling with the team to Toronto cannot be overstated. They combine for 44.7 points, 14.9 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. This puts Miami at a big-time disadvantage for this game against a pretty healthy Raptors team.
Even though the Raptors have struggled at points this season, those struggles have not translated to their games at home. In Toronto, the Raptors appear to be a completely different team. They have won six of their nine games this season at home. Moreover, they are 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games. Covering against talented teams like Boston, Phoenix, and Milwaukee at home this season shows their real potential. While the Raptors may not be on the same level as the Heat on their home floor, anything is possible.
Final Heat-Raptors Prediction & Pick
A must-win matchup for two teams currently in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference is slated to be a scrappy, low-scoring, defensive matchup. The Raptors come into this one with a healthy roster and a home-court advantage where they have played their best basketball. It is tough to go against them, but I am going with the Miami Heat. Aside from Barnes and Siakam, the offense has not been there for this Raptors team. Additionally, the Heat very rarely make mistakes to let opposing teams run away with games. Give me the Heat to cover at +3 in what should be a very tightly contested game.
Final Heat-Raptors Prediction & Pick: Miami Heat +3.5 (-110)