Dallas Mavericks vs. Toronto Raptors
NBA Pick: Toronto +2 (March 25th 2017)
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The Raptors are surviving just fine without PG Kyle Lowry (22.8-4.8-6.9). They enter Saturday’s game in Dallas on a four-game winning streak and are now 10-5 since Lowry was sidelined with a wrist injury. DeMar DeRozan (27.2-5.4-3.8) has back-to-back 40-point games, including exactly 40 when the Raptors rallied from 15 points down to beat Miami 101-84 on Thursday. More good news for tonight is that power forward Serge Ibaka will return to the lineup Saturday following a one-game suspension for a fight with Chicago’s Robin Lopez on Tuesday. Ibaka has averaged 14.4 & 6.45 in 14 games with Toronto, since being acquired from the Magic.
The Mavs’ playoff hopes are fading, as they are currently 3 1/2 games out of the West’s final playoff spot. They are halfway through a tough four-game homestand in which they ahve already played the Warruors and Clippers (1-1) and still have the Raptors and Thunder. After wrapping against OKC on Monday, Dallas is headed out on a five-game road trip. It seems as if head coach Rick Carlisle is staring to transition into more of a experimentation mode. Nerlens Noel had eight points and 12 rebounds on Thursday, making a rare start. The former 76er just may be stating a case though, as he’s averaged 13.8 points on 63.4 percent shooting and 8.9 rebounds in nine starts this season between Philadelphia and Dallas.
Check out Jimmy Boyd’s NBA pick on this game at Handicapperspicks.com
Toronto has opened a sizeable lead over the fifth-seed in the East (six games) and now takes aim at Washington, the No. 3 seed. A Toronto win and a Washington loss (Wizards are at Cleveland) and the two teams would be tied at 44-29! That’s the play. Take Toronto.
Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
NBA Point Spread Pick: Wizards +4 (March 1st 2017)
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This is 1 of 3 Picks in NBA Wednesday for Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach who went 4-1 (80%) with all basketball picks Tuesday. This one is a Free Pick but the other 2 are BOTH star rated picks. Rickenbach also has 3 star rated picks going in CBB Wednesday plus a star rated pick in NHL action as well. You don’t want to miss any of the action as, overall, Rickenbach ranks as the #1 ALL SPORTS LEADER for cumulative net profits in 2017 on multiple networks! The Bulldog has an all sports streak (star rated picks) going of 142-95 (+$46,100) long-term! Don’t miss a HUGE Wednesday as Rickenbach is on a 44-19 RUN with all NBA picks, and he’s also on runs of 62-39 in CBB and 59-36 +$29,350 in NHL!
Free Pick – Rickenbach NBA Game #503 Wednesday Washington Wizards (+) @ Toronto Raptors @ 7:05 ET – Whenever something looks too good to be true it usually is. Many are going to look at this game and say how can the Raptors be laying only a couple of buckets at home when Washington is in a back to back and just hosted the #1 team in the NBA last night? The “too good to be true” angle is especially in effect when you look at the fact that the Wizards are 10-15 on the road this season and they’re at Toronto where the Raptors are 21-10 on the season. Being the contrarian that I am it is games like this that often catch my attention and I am going to back the feisty Wizards who are seeking revenge here against a Raptors team that is still adjusting to the recent loss of Kyle Lowry to injury. Washington swept Toronto out of the playoffs two years ago but, since then, the Raptors have won 5 straight regular season meetings against the Wizards including a victory by double digits at Washington early this season. A little payback is on order for tonight and the Wizards are 19-9 ATS this season when playing with revenge. The Raptors are currently on a 7-12 ATS run after their non-covering win versus the Knicks Monday. Just like the Wizards, Toronto is playing their 4th game in 6 nights so the Raptors scheduling “edge” here is truly not that big. Free Pick on WASHINGTON plus the points in early evening action Wednesday. Best of luck, Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach
Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks
NBA Betting Pick: Toronto -3.5 points (February 27th 2017)
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The Knicks haven’t won back-to-back games since before Christmas. They blew a double digit second half lead against the 76ers last time out, lucky to escape with a one point victory thanks to a Carmelo Anthony buzzer beating jumper.
That game winning shot improved the Knicks record to 4-11 SU in their last 15 home games – it’s not like this team has much of an edge playing at Madison Square Garden these days.
And the quotes coming out of New York are ‘bet-against’ in every sense of the word. Derrick Rose, following their loss to open the second half: “It’s a different offense. As a point guard, you’re always in the corner and just got to play off reads and play that way. It’s new for everybody here. I get all my points off random baskets. Unless you see it go to the post, all the other stuff is just random basketball.”
Carmelo Anthony: “I think they were kind of planning on the trade deadline whether they were trying to make moves. I think that was one plan. Now they’ve got to get back to the drawing board and come up with another plan about the future of this team.” Plain and simple – these are not the kinds of quotes I’m looking for out of my veteran leaders on a struggling team.
The Raptors have won and covered two straight since picking up Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker at the trading deadline. All Star guard DeMar DeRozan, talking about Toronto’s new additions: “It takes a lot of pressure off. The teams just have to understand that you have to pick and choose. You know we have another weapon out there for teams to worry about…. We got 23 games left. We got to leave it all out there. Before we know it, playoffs will be here.”
The betting markets have priced this one cheaply, concerned about the absence of Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. But backups Cory Joseph and Delon Wright have filled in very well over the past two games; more than capable of running the offense and defending Derrick Rose this evening. Take the Raptors.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
NBA Point Spread Pick: Raptors -3 (February 24th 2017)
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If the Raptors are serious about winning the Atlantic Division – and they indeed are trading for Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker – they need to win this home game. Toronto trails Boston by four games in the division. It’s a crucial matchup for the Raptors. All-Star break came at a good time for the Raptors, who were reeling with 11 losses in their last 16 games. The team was tired with stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowery overworked and defense lacking. Ibaka, Tucker and the return of power forward Patrick Patterson from a knee injury should shore up the defense. Ibaka will make his Toronto debut, but has been on the team for the last 10 days. Tucker is questionable after being acquired on Thursday. Boston is 11-2 in its last 13 games. The Celtics stood pat at the trade deadline even though there were rumors Paul George and Jimmy Butler were available. It would have been a huge morale boost for Boston to have acquired one of those stars. But the Celtics, despite an abundance of draft choices, stood pat. Celtics management must think their team is better than the Cavaliers. The Celtics aren’t. I don’t think the Celtics are even better than the Raptors. Toronto has won six of the past seven meetings during the past two seasons, including the last one played in Toronto, 114-106 on Jan. 10 with DeRozan scoring 41 points. The Raptors were 5 1/2-point favorites in that one. This line is less. DeRozan and Lowery are going to get their points against defensively-challenged Isaiah Thomas. Now the Raptors have a big rebounding edge on Boston with Ibaka. They should play with a tremendous sense of urgency. The Raptors are 14-6-1 ATS the past 21 times hosting foes that have a winning road record. The Celtics need Avery Bradley to help slow down DeRozan and Lowery. Bradley has missed 20 of the last 21 games due to an Achilles injury. Bradley is not expected to play today. Certainly it’s debatable if the Raptors are better than the Celtics. But what should be for sure is the Raptors need this game more, should be highly motivated and have improved at the trade deadline while Boston didn’t. I want the Raptors going for me here.
(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover is 12-4 on his last 16 premium/free NBA plays and is coming off a 7-1 Thursday. Don’t miss any of his plays, including his NBA Thursday Top Ticket.)