Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Toronto Raptors (21-20 20-21-1 ATS) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (31-11 20-22 ATS) Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH 7 PM EST January 19, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Raptors +9.5 / Cavaliers -9.5
Over/Under: 203

Tonight in an Eastern Conference match up of a couple of teams that are playing well lately the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Toronto Raptors. The Cavs have really been clicking as of late after a decent start and they are coming off a win, 7-3 in their last 10 games, and they are in 1st place in the Central Division with a big 11.5 game lead over the Chicago Bulls. The Raptors did not have the best start to the season, but they have got back into the playoff picture in the East, as they have won 2 in a row, are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but still trail the Boston Celtics by 7 games in the Atlantic Division.

Chris Bosh (23.8 ppg 11.2 rpg) is the main reason the Raptors have their sights set on the playoffs, but C Andrea Bargnani, who scored 28 points on Cleveland in their first match up earlier this season and has averaged 20.8 ppg and 9.2 rpg in his last 5 games is playing great Basketball and taking a ton of pressure off Bosh. Hedo Turkoglu (13 ppg) has also played well and since he is hitting on almost 40% of his 3-point bombs this season he helps open up the lane for Bosh and Bargnani to operate inside.

On Thursday night in a HUGE game the Cavs host the L.A. Lakers, can you say finals preview, but they can’t overlook Toronto, who has won 10 of their last 13 games. Reigning MVP King James (29.6 ppg) is having another great season, but to make it back to the finals after missing out last season he needs help on the offensive end of the court.

Cleveland is tied with the L.A. Lakers and Denver for the fewest home losses this season (3).

In their last game the Raptors had a solid win over the Dallas Mavericks 110-88 on Sunday. Bosh was the high scorer in the game going for 23 points on 9/18 shooting and he also grabbed 13 boards. For the game the Raptors shot 44/90 for a FG% of 48.9%. On defense the Raptors held the Mavs to 36/80 shooting for a FG% of 45%.

The Cavs beat the L.A. Clippers in La La Land on Saturday night 102-101. Yeah LeBron was the high scorer in the game going for 32 points on 12/20 shooting. For the game the Cavs shot 38/79 for a FG% of 48.1%. On defense the Cavs actually did not play well allowing the Clippers to shoot 37/62 for a lights out FG% of 59.7%.

This season the Raptors rank 5th in scoring (103.7 ppg) and the Cavs rank 11th (100.9 ppg). On defense the Cavs are legit ranking 4th in points allowed (94.5 ppg) and the Raptors only rank 26th (104.9 ppg). Cleveland is a much better teams on the glass, as they have a rebounding differential of +4.2 rpg while Toronto is only at -1.3 rpg.

Toronto is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog, and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against teams in the Central Division.

Cleveland 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against Atlantic Division teams, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.

In 7 of the Raptors last 10 games the total has gone Over and in 5 of the last 6 games for the Cavs the total has gone Under when playing a team that has a winning record.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Cavs rank 1st this season (96.51) and the Raptors rank 17th (90.42). The Raptors are only 7-17 against teams ranked in the top 16 in the Sagarin NBA ratings.

On the injury front SG Marco Belinelli and SF Hedo Turkoglu are day-to-day for Toronto and SF LeBron James is day-to-day for Cleveland.

Jason’s Pick: The keys to this game are if James gets some scoring help and if the Raptors don’t allow the Cavs to dominate the boards. James will get help and the Cavs will play good D, but the Raptors will have a solid game and hit the boards hard and while Toronto will not win this game they will cover the spread. Take the Raptors and the points.