Raptors vs. Heat Betting Odds
|Raptors odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Heat odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-138/+118 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||TBD [BET NOW]|
|Time||1:30 p.m. ET|
The Toronto Raptors face off against the Miami Heat at 1:30 p.m. ET in the first of six NBA games on Monday.
The Heat won both of the earlier regular season matchups, as they outlasted the Raptors in Toronto on Dec. 3, 121-110 in overtime, before defending their home court in Miami on Jan. 2, 84-76.
Each team will compete in its second game in the bubble on Monday after winning its opener. The Raptors stifled LeBron and the Lakers in an impressive 107-92 victory while the Heat ran away from a Nuggets team without several key perimeter players en route to a 125-105 win.
Where is the betting value in this matchup? Let’s break it down.
Patrick McCaw (knee) has been ruled out of Monday’s game against the Heat. He is day-to-day, but everyone else is healthy for the Raptors.
The Raptors come into this game after putting on a defensive clinic where they held the Lakers to a season-low 92 points. The Harassic Park defense is the reason why the Raptors could afford to lose a superstar in Kawhi Leonard while still remaining a legitimate NBA Finals contender. After 65 games last season, Toronto’s record was 46-19, but after 65 games this season they have improved to 47-18.
Their length, high basketball IQ and versatility make them an extremely stingy defense and a tough matchup for anyone. Check out this breakdown on Twitter by @CoachDaniel21 (via @WorldWideWob) of their unique style of pick-and-roll defense, along with a few variations to better understand why they have the second best defensive rating in the league at 104.9.
Although the Heat have won both matchups to date with the Raptors, don’t count on it happening again on Monday. In the Heat’s overtime win in December, Lowry was in just his first game back after a fractured left thumb sidelined him for 11 games. He finished with an uncharacteristic 2-18 made field goal attempts, including 0-11 from three. In their second matchup, neither Pascal Siakam nor Marc Gasol played due to injury.
With the Raptors finally healthy, this sets up some intriguing matchups where we can find value. Miami’s two elite defenders, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, will spend most of their time on the red-hot Lowry and Siakam. This means that Fred VanVleet will have players like Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic tasked with guarding him. Considering how Miami has struggled to contain outside shooters, especially with these players defensively, VanVleet should see plenty of good looks on Monday.
The Heat listed Dragic (back spasms) and Adebayo (bruised quad) as probable for Monday’s game after Sunday’s practice. Butler was notably absent from practice with an excused absence and was not listed on the injury report. When asked if Butler would play Monday, coach Erik Spoelstra did not give an answer.
Teammate Jae Crowder said of Butler after Sunday’s practice, “We’re going to talk to him as soon as he gets out of quarantine and whatever he’s in.” NBA bubble policy states that if a player misses a scheduled COVID-19 test, he must quarantine for one day — this happened with Kristaps Porzingis last weekend. Expect Butler to play despite his Sunday absence.
The Heat started their bubble opener with a new starting lineup, replacing center Meyers Leonard with power forward Crowder while shifting Adebayo to center. This was a surprise as the starting lineup of Leonard, Adebayo, Butler, Nunn and Robinson had logged a 28-10 record, and it outscored opponents by 121 points in 488 minutes played (this is by far the Heat’s most used lineup). Not only did Leonard not start, but he also didn’t see a single second of game time.
The Heat’s perimeter defense has been a weak link throughout the season, and Crowder’s insertion as a starter allows for more switching and versatility. This helps loosen the load on Adebayo, who can guard just about anyone defensively, by having another big that can cover more ground than Leonard. However, expect Leonard to see action Monday as Miami will need bigger bodies to bang around inside with the likes of Gasol and Serge Ibaka for Toronto.
The sharpshooting Robinson sits fourth in the NBA in both 3s made and 3-point shooting percentage, and opposing teams have started to pay him more respect and consciously limit the quality of looks he gets from three. He impressed Saturday with his quick decision making as he made passes to open up looks at the rim for teammates when defenders overcommitted while pulling the trigger when given daylight. It is imperative that he exhibits high-level decision making and execution against this long, quick and smart Raptors defense for the Heat to have a chance of winning, as his windows will be much smaller than they were against the Nuggets.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The addition of Crowder into the starting lineup gives the Heat more adaptability, but it also leaves them susceptible to mismatches without the proper size to win on the boards. Even with Leonard on the court as a true center, the Raptors still will have a size advantage inside with Gasol and Ibaka. As Miami tries to limit Toronto’s damage inside (especially with an Adebayo that might not be at 100 percent), expect the Raptors to have plenty of good looks for players like OG Anunoby and VanVleet against lesser Heat defenders.
The Heat may be overvalued after a convincing win where the Nuggets were missing their three players who shoot the most 3s per game. The Miami defense faces a much stiffer challenge on Monday.
Despite not having Siakam nor Gasol in their most recent meeting, the Raptors held the Heat to just 84 points. I expect the Raptors to have a strong defensive showing on Monday as they limit the quality looks Duncan Robinson will have. The Heat will need other players to step up on the offensive end like Nunn, Herro and Dragic, but these three have combined to shoot just 18-60 from the field against the length of the Raptors defense. This is a tough matchup for these Heat players offensively.
While I like the value of the Raptors to win -138 and the spread at -2.5, I think there is better value among FanDuel’s player performance doubles. After his impressive performance Saturday, I am tempted by Lowry 20+PTS/Toronto to win +230, but Butler’s defensive prowess makes me feel like the more favorable matchups for VanVleet make his 20+PTS/Toronto to win +540 a better value. VanVleet averages 17.5 points per game while shooting 38.8 percent from three. Expect him to exploit the weak links in Miami’s defense on the way to a Raptors win.
The Pick: Fred VanVleet 20+PTS/Toronto To Win +540