Toronto Raptors vs Indiana Pacers

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Two Eastern Conference teams will face off against each other on Sunday as the Toronto Raptors travel to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers. Toronto enters this game with a 6-9 record after beating Miami at home by 20 points in its last game while Indiana enters this game with a 9-6 record after beating Orlando at home by two points in its last game. This game will start at 1:00 P.M. EST.

Raptors Look To Continue Playing Well

The Toronto Raptors have been playing some great basketball lately as they have won four of their last five games including a 20-point home victory against the Miami Heat in their last game. In that game, Toronto’s defense was fantastic as it only allowed 81 points while forcing the opposition into shooting just 22.6% from the three-point line. Now, Toronto will be looking to continue its winning ways with a road game up next. However, the Raptors have lost six of their first seven road games this season as they have looked significantly worse in opposing arenas.

Leading the Raptors offensively is shooting guard Fred VanVleet who is averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game along with 6.5 assists per game. In addition, he is averaging 1.3 steals per game as he has been very active on both sides of the ball up to this point.

Following the victory against Miami, Toronto coach Nick Nurse discussed how his team’s defense led the the positive outcome.

“Night and day in terms of our effort defensively. When you move hard on defense, you move hard on offense. It helps the pace of play. We were flying around.”

Indiana Looks For Another Home Win

The Indiana Pacers were able to snap their two-game losing streak on Friday as they defeated the Orlando Magic at home by two points in their last game. In that game, Indiana’s offense was solid as it scored 120 points while shooting 49.5% from the floor. However, the Pacers needed to rally in the fourth quarter before winning in overtime so that victory was extremely difficult to obtain. Now, the Pacers will be looking for another home victory against a conference rival on Sunday. It is worth mentioning that Indiana has only won five of its first nine home games this season as it has looked quite vulnerable at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Leading the Pacers offensively is forward Domantas Sabonis who is averaging 21.7 points per game along with a team-high 12.5 rebounds per game. In addition, he is shooting 55.4% from the floor as he has been extremely efficient offensively up to this point.

Following the victory against Orlando, Indiana coach Nate Bjorkgren praised his team for continuing to battle until the final whistle.

“Our guys didn’t quit. They found themselves down in the fourth and found themselves down in overtime and kept coming back.”

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Indiana might have the better overall record but Toronto has been playing very well lately so I think that this spread is a bit off. The Raptors have won four of their last five games while the Pacers have lost two of their last three games so Toronto enters this game in better form. Plus, Toronto has a rebounding rate of 49.1 while Indiana has a rebounding rate of 48.3 so I think that the Raptors should be able to create a ton of second-chance opportunities which will allow them to cover this point spread. Give me the road team as a result.

Prediction:
Toronto Raptors +1

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Both of these teams have been playing pretty well offensively this season so I think that this total is a bit too low. Indiana ranks 12th in offensive efficiency while Toronto ranks tied for 15th in offensive efficiency so I think that this game should be a bit more high-scoring than what oddsmakers anticipate. Plus, Toronto ranks tied for 13th in pace while Indiana ranks 17th in pace so I think that both teams will be able to find a lot of quality scoring chances in transition which will lead to more possessions for both teams. As a result, I think that there is some value with the over in this spot.

Prediction:
Over 219

Half-Time Side Pick
Rating:

Toronto might have the worse overall record but it might be the better team in terms of efficiency so I think that it should be able to get off to a fast start over the first 24 minutes of this game. Toronto ranks ninth in defensive efficiency while Indiana ranks 17th in defensive efficiency so I think that Indiana’s offense should struggle early on before potentially making some adjustments at halftime. Plus, Toronto has a rebounding rate of 49.1 while Indiana has a rebounding rate of 48.3 so I think that Indiana will be unable to win the battle on the glass. As a result, I think that the Raptors should be able to enter the halftime break with a five-point lead.

Prediction:
Toronto Raptors 1H