Cleveland Cavaliers (-1, 208 o/u) at Toronto Raptors
Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear. The Cleveland Cavaliers (41-15, 17-10 Away) will visit the only team they can see in their rear-view tonight when they head across the border to take on the Toronto Raptors (38-18, 20-6 Home) at the Air Canada Centre (7:30 PM Eastern).
The Cavs are the best team in the Eastern Conference, three games above Toronto. The Celtics are the next closest team, sitting a distant nine-games back. The Raptors are the only threat to the Cavs securing homecourt advantage for the playoffs, but a real threat they appear to be.
It has been nearly two months since Toronto lost at home, and the team has gone 20-6 at the Air Canada Centre this season. Only the Cavs, Warriors, and Spurs have a better record at home. They’re not quite as strong against the spread at home, with just a 14-12 record against the number (30-25-1 overall). But this will be just the fourth time this season that they’ve been home dogs and they covered each of the previous three.
Toronto’s last game was an 114-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan led the way, scoring 31 points on the night. The win was the third straight for Toronto since dropping their first post-All-Star tilt with the Bulls.
Cleveland comes in hot, as well, winning six of its last seven. The Cavs beat the Hornets, 114-103, on Wednesday night with 23 points from both Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. A model of consistency for the franchise, James has now scored 20-plus points in 16 of his last 17 games.
The Cavs average 102.4 points per night while allowing just 97.6. However, they haven’t been a great bet, posting a 25-29-2 ATS record, overall, and 11-14-2 on the road. One of those losses came during their last visit to the Air Canada Centre back in November; they were three-point favorites at the time but fell 103-99 straight-up.
Look for the Raptors to keep the heat on the Cavs with another home win tonight.
Pick: Raptors (+1).
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (AAAA0584) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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