Wizards vs. Raptors Pick – March 1st

The Raptors look to extend their four-game winning streak tonight at home against the Wizards who are fresh off a win over Golden State. Can the Raps take advantage of their fatigued opponent, even without Kyle Lowry??

We notched an NBA winner last night with the Thunder getting the home win over the Utah Jazz in a fun 119-116 contest.  But let’s be real, there was only one storyline in the NBA last night that really mattered; Kevin Durant’s hyperextended knee.  Like all of you, I am anxiously awaiting the official diagnosis – and not that I am a Golden State, I’m neutral -but am hoping he is OK.  I like excellence and elite competition.  Having the NBA Playoffs without one of the best players on the best team in the NBA would be a major disappointment.

The fact they dropped just their tenth game last night, 112-108 to the Washington Wizards pales in comparison to the anxiety and disappointment surrounding the potential severity of Kevin Durant’s injured knee.  Alas, it is worth noting that they are now just three games ahead of the Spurs (the somehow completely forgotten Spurs) in the loss column with 22 games to play. IF Durant were to miss significant time (or even, gasp, be done for the season) this thing could get REALLY interesting out West…

Meanwhile, the win, however tainted, was significant for the Washington Wizards.  They are currently tied for third in the East but just one game back of the Celtics for the coveted second slot.  It still feels like Cleveland and EVERYONE else, but if any team in the East CAN challenge the Cavaliers, it feels like Washington has the best shot.

Let’s see if we can grab another winner tonight

Today’s NBA Pick:

Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors -4

The schedule/luck giveth – catching the Dubs on a night KD gets hurt, and the schedule taketh away – getting a trip to Toronto on the backend of a brutal back-to-back.  Such is life for the red-hot Wizards as they try to defy the odds and win in Toronto just 20 hours later.

Toronto has had their share of midseason blues, but is still 21-10 at home this season and a more than formidable foe.  For all the talk about Washington’s surge and Toronto’s slump, they are only one game apart, 7-3 and 6-4, over their last ten games respectively.  In fact, Toronto has gone 3-2 ATS in their last five home games while Washington is just 1-2 ATS on the road.  Toronto is 5-1 SU in their last six home games.

More importantly, Toronto is catching a team on a back to back fresh off a win over Golden State, and the toll of that feat should be respected in tonight’s analysis.  Toronto is one of the better home ATS teams when favored in general at 17-11 ATS overall.  With the rest factor also coming in to play, it makes the Raps a good value tonight.

Yes, Kyle Lowry is out for the season – never a good thing before you face John Wall, but the Raps ARE 4-0 without him.  DeRozan and Ibaka are clicking and I think they can carry the day tonight.

Today’s Pick:  Toronto Raptors -4