NBA Sunday Odds: Toronto Raptors at Minnesota Timberwolves

DeMar-DeRozan-raptorsToronto at Minnesota
Time: 7 PM ET, Mar 9, 2014
Spread: MIN -5
Total: 209

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Toronto Raptors are the third best team in the Eastern Conference at 34-26, yet the Pacers trial the No. 2 Miami Heat by nine games, making it unlikely that the Raptors move up further in the standings. The much tougher Western Conference shows the Minnesota Timberwolves as five games out of the playoff picture, despite being above .500 at 31-30. The Wolves are 19-14 at home where it will host the Raptors in a game NBA oddsmakers are favoring Minnesota by 5 points.

The Timberwolves have won seven of its past 10 games, and the team has the 4th highest scoring offense in the NBA (106.3 points per game). Defense has been an issue for Minnesota, though, as the team gives up 102.3 points per game and has typically defended very poorly in transition.

Tyson Chandler went as far as to say “Kevin Love plays no D,” and that is a big part of Minnesota’s problems. Neither Love nor center Nikola Pekovic get back well on defense, and the Wolves may be looking at going in a different direction, assuming Love leaves in free agency as most expect him to. The former UCLA Bruin is averaging 26.5 points and 13.2 rebounds per game this season.

Toronto was able to win 99-87 over Sacramento on Friday night (Mar 7). Four of the five Raptors starters scored in double-figures, paced by Terrence Ross’ 18 points, and Patrick Patterson contributed 15 points off the bench on 6-of-8 shooting.

DeMar DeRozan made his first All-Star team this season and the swingman is averaging 22.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. DeRozan’s emergence made it possible for the Raps to abandon the Rudy Gay experiment and shed a lot of payroll. DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have helped the Raptors be one of the surprise teams in the East, and Lowry made a strong candidate to be an All-Star as well, with averages of 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

TOR Trends: 5-1 ATS in last 6 when opponent allows 100 or more in previous game; 5-1 ATS in last 6 Sunday games; 9-2 ATS in last 11 following SU win of more than 10 points.

MIN Trends: UNDER 10-1-1 in last 12 after allowing 100 or more in previous game; UNDER 10-2 in last 12 playing on 1 days rest; 1-4 ATS in last 5 home games vs teams with winning road records

Head-to-head: UNDER 7-1 in last 8 meetings; Raptors 7-1 ATS in last 8 meetings in Minnesota; UNDER 8-2 in last 10 meetings in Minnesota.

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