The Toronto Raptors have been rolling lately, while the Houston Rockets have been choppy at best. When they meet up at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night, the Rockets will be trying to protect their position at the tail end of the West playoff queue, while the Raptors are projecting themselves toward the top of the East. This game will get underway at 6:35 PM ET, and even after it tips off, BetAnySports patrons can keep themselves in the action as they place wagers in real time through the magic of Live Betting Extra.
It has been a great season for the Raptors, who have built their team very carefully to highlight team chemistry, in a similar way to what has been done in Golden State, San Antonio and even Atlanta. They are now sporting a record of 41-19 straight-up and 32-27-1 against the basketball pointspread, and with six wins in their last seven games, they have drawn to within 2.5 games of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the overall East lead. That may have been unthinkable for some people at the season’s outset, but it is very real now.
In the basketball betting odds that have been established on this game at BetAnySports, the Raptors are the favorites:
The Rockets haven’t had the kind of “dream” season the Raptors have enjoyed; in fact, it has been much more of a nightmare for them. Eleven games into the season, they served coach Kevin McHale his walking papers. And it has recently surfaced that James Harden, who has taken more shots than anyone and made only 43% of them, may have helped to engineer that firing. Harden also reportedly pushed for the team to trade Dwight Howard, the free agent-to-be, but that never happened, and so it can be safely said that team chemistry isn’t at its peak right now.
One of the keys in the success of the Raptors has been to control the pace of their games; they are, in fact, 29th out of the 30 NBA clubs in that regard, which means they operate very deliberately. As a result they have allowed just 98.1 points per contest.
We have used “chemistry” a couple of times during this piece, but BetAnySports customers know this is not all about spreading out the shooting burden. One drawback to what Toronto is doing is that they are not necessarily the best when it comes to ball distribution, despite the presence of Kyle Lowry, who was the East’s starting point guard in the All-Star Game. They have averaged just 18.4 assists per game, which is next to last in the league. By stark contrast, the Warriors have chalked up just over 29 assists per contest. Indeed, this is a team that is top-heavy in the scoring department, with Lowry and DeMar DeRozan averaging a little more than 45 points between them. Those two have combined to take 41% of the team’s shots.
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