NBA League Pass Betting: Los Angeles Clippers at Toronto Raptors

The Lakers are among many teams considering tendering a max-offer to DeMar DeRozan this summer.
The Lakers are among many teams considering tendering a max-offer to DeMar DeRozan this summer.

Los Angeles Clippers at Toronto Raptors
Time: 5 PM CT (NBA League Pass)
Spread: TOR -2.5
Total: 204.5

Betting odds c/o Pincle

The Toronto Raptors are relatively on fire, with the Eastern Conference’s longest winning streak, now at seven games and counting.

The 28-15 Raptors have taken possession of the East’s No. 2 spot and trail Cleveland Cavaliers by just 2.5 games at this point. The Raptors will host the L.A. Clippers at 5 PM Central on NBA League Pass, with NBA oddsmakers favoring the Raps by 2.5 points in the game. The over/under is set at 204.5.

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The Raptors have knocked off all Eastern Conference foes during its seven-game streak, beating the Brooklyn Nets twice, the Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. The most recent was a 101-81 trouncing of the Heat last night.

DeMar DeRozan had 33 points on 12 of 25 shooting, further solidifying his bid for a max contract this summer (which he most assuredly will get). Kyle Lowry chipped in 15 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 boards and nine points.

The Raptors shot 46.7 percent from the floor while holding the offensively-struggling Heat to just 40.7 percent shooting. Toronto’s defense has been sparkling, and it is a big factor behind the team’s surge to the top of the East’s standings.

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It is a pity for the Raptors that they may be priced out of re-signing DeRozan, who is averaging 23.3 points, 4.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds a game while posting a PER of 21.52. He is among the top 2-guards and made the All-Star team two seasons ago, but he has elevated his game to a higher level this season. Over his last five games, the 6’7” swingman has been on fire: 25.8 points, 4.8 assists and six boards per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

One-time All-Star starter Kyle Lowry is not far behind him production-wise. The diminutive floor general has averaged 20.7 points, five rebounds and six assists per game this season, while posting a PER slightly better than DeRozan’s of 22.9.

The Raptors also have one more 20-plus PER player in Valanciunas who is good for 21.2. Jonas is shooting 54 percent from the field this season while leading the team in rebounding with 9.3 per game (three offensive). The Raps have a deep rotation which features free agent acquisition DeMarre Carroll, the always-reliable Luis Scola and an ultra-athletic Terrance Ross. Ross may be the successor to DeRozan should he depart this offseason.

The Clippers have won two of its past three games with wins over the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks and a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers sandwiched between those victories. The win over New York came in convincing 116-88 fashion as DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul led the way with 36 combined points. Jordan was a perfect 7 of 7 from the field (not so much from the line, 6 of 12) with eight boards and a couple assists. Paul had a double-double with 16 points and 13 dimes.

J.J. Redick has come back to earth after his career high 40 point game against the Rockets on Jan. 18. Since that time he has still shot the ball 50 percent from the floor, but in the game against Houston he was 9 of 12 from three-point range, looking very much like the dominant player he was during his NCAA career at Duke.

Over his past five games, Redick has put up 19.6 points per game on 51 percent shooting and he has been good for 57.6 percent of his threes. His stepping up is what could render this Clippers team much more dangerous, not that it is bereft of scoring options.

The Clips have been without Blake Griffin and though he was present at shoot around on Thursday, he is still questionable for this game. Redick, Paul Pierce and Wes Johnson have filled in admirably, but the Clips need its point-forward to be at the highest level of contention. Griffin has taken his time in recovering and should be 100 percent when he does finally return.

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