Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat Preview, Prediction, and Free Pick 12-26-2018




Toronto Raptors vs  Miami Heat	Preview, Prediction, and Free Pick 12-26-2018

Toronto Raptors (25-10) vs Miami Heat (16-16)

Date : 12/26/2018
Time : 7:30 pm EST
Location : American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat

The Toronto Raptors will travel to American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida to battle the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at  7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Miami Heat enter this game winners of five straight outings as they were able to pick up the win on the road over the struggling Orlando Magic in their last outing as the Heat came out blazing from the field in ending the opening quarter with a 28-17 lead on the way to shooting 50% from the field as well as from three-point range for the game.

On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors halted a two-game winning streak as they suffered a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on the road as the Raptors struggled from the field in shooting less than 40% while nailing only 25% of their three-point attempts as Pascal Siakam along with Kyle Lowry chipped in 26 and 20 points respectively, as the team possessed only fuor double-digit scores for the game despite the win. The Raptors are 0-5 against the spread in the last 5 meetings while are also 1-4 against the spread in the last 5 meetings at American Airlines Arena.

 

Toronto Raptors's Latest Performance :

Two steps forward, two steps back has been the approach for the Toronto Raptors lately as they were seemingly erecting themselves from a damaging losing streak by picking up a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their prior matchup. However, the Philadelphia 76ers were certainly looking for payback due to a loss in Toronto to the Raptors earlier in the season as they certainly did their best in which to accomplish their goal as they shot 54% from the floor on the night while possessing three  20 points scorers in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, along with JJ Reddick,  who had 27, 26, along with 22 points in the win. furthermore, Simmons had 12 rebounds along with eight assists while Embiid finished with 11 rebounds. It will be important to note that Kawhi Leonard did not suit up for this game while Pascal Siakam along with Kyle Lowry led the team in scoring with 26 and 20 points, as stated, as the Raptors connected on 10 of 43 long balls for the night, yet, shot only 39% from the floor while in addition to being heavily outrebounded by a 53 – 31 margin along with committing 17 turnovers on the night.

Nonetheless, Toronto will certainly look to get back on the winning track as Leonard will likely be back in the lineup while Serge Ibaka, who missed the team’s last  outing versus the Sixers as well, is uncertain to suit up in this contest due to injury.

 

Miami Heat's Latest Performance :

Miami won their 5th straight game in blowout fashion as they were able to totally neutralize an already inconsistent offense for the Orlando Magic in their last outing while also getting 20 of 25 points from Tyler Johnson in the third quarter  to allow the Heat to remain in control of the game also pulling out a much-needed victory. Also, Justise Winslow chipped in 22 points for the Heat while Josh Richardson had 15 points along with 10 rebounds for Miami as they not only picked up their fifth straight victory, as stated, but, picked up the win while preventing their last five opponents from scoring 100 points or more  in  five straight outings, as well.

And while the magic connected on 10th replens on that night, they shot 41% from the field as they were led by Evan Fournier along with Aaron Gordon, who had 17 and 14 points, respectively, for Miami as they combined to go 5 – 14 from 3-point range on a night where the Magic committed 19 turnovers. Miami picked up 11 steals in this matchup while also having 27 dimes as they will now return home to where three of their next four games will be held as the goal will certainly be to pick up some wins while potentially making a move within the division on the first place Charlotte Hornets, who have struggled mightily recently. Nonetheless, they must certainly take care of business versus a Toronto Raptors team that has fallen lately, yet continues to remain one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference.

 

How Toronto Raptors & Miami Heat Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

 

Toronto is 16 – 19 ATS while the OU is  20 – 15

Miami is 18 – 14 ATS while the OU is  16 – 16

 

 

In-Depth Analysis of each team:

This will certainly be an interesting matchup in that the Miami Heat will be looking to continue their defensive minded ways while  also picking up wins in the meantime, beginning with a victory against an offensive minded team in the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. As stated, Leonard is expected to be back in the lineup, which will certainly give a lift to a Raptors squad that shot less than 40% from the floor in their  prior outing versus the Sixers. On the other hand, Goran Dragic is out, once again, with a knee injury for the heat and is due back in February. Nonetheless, the Heat have had huge contributions from their role players, lately, and will certainly look to continue this trend versus a Toronto team that are losers of four of their last six road games, overall.

Against The Spread Selection: Pick:   Miami Heat

My reason for the pick :

The Heat, as stated, are continuing to play outstanding basketball lately while its defense is very deserving of their top 10 ranking as it relates to points allowed as well as for opponent field goal percentage. With that being said, look for the Heat to excel at home, once again, as they are winners of two of their last three, overall. As stated, the Raptors have struggled on the road recently in going 2-6 and will encounter their fair share of issues looking to find some headway versus a Miami defense that is currently one of the best in the league at this point in the season in holding their opponents to an average of less than 100 points per game in their last 5 games, which all were wins.

 

 

Totals Selection: Pick: Under

My reason for the prediction :

I will back the under in this match up as I happen to feel that the Raptors will succumb to the Heat allowing this to be a slow pace, ugly game throughout. In other words, Miami will make this game less of a finesse game;  Instead, they will do all in their power in which to make this a game to where offenses will struggle while the defense will take center stage throughout the matchup. The under has been the play in six of the last 10 games for the Raptors while also being the result in the last three home games for Heat. With that being the case, look for the trends to continue as what will be a defensive-minded matchup amongst two teams that  each possess a defense that is ranked within the top 10 in all major defensive categories.

Betting trends for Toronto Raptors:

  • Under is 4-0 in Raptors last 4 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
    Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
    Over is 4-0 in Raptors last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest.

Betting trends for Miami Heat:

  • Under is 4-0 in Heat last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
    Under is 7-0 in Heat last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
    Heat are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

Falepa

A sports analyst and enthusiast, Filipa enjoys writing articles for NHL, NBA, NCAAB, and, of course, for NCAAF. In addition, he enjoys the true art of breaking down games in such as way as to locate certain trends that can impact future contests. With a willingness to research, construct, and relay information that any reader can understand, Filipa aims to provide the reader with interesting & indepth knowledge for upcoming sporting events.