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Raptors vs. Nets Free NBA Pick (Dec. 12)

NBA Picks Toronto @ New Jersey

The Toronto Raptors (9-12 SU, 8-13 ATS) are still trying to turn things around under their new coach. On Friday night they will lace ’em up against the New Jersey Nets (11-9 SU, 12-8 ATS) in NBA pro basketball sports betting action that is slated to tip off at 7:30 PM ET at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.  

BetUS NBA Basketball Sports Betting Odds: NEW JERSEY -3, Total 207

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* TOR has covered two of its last ten games
* TOR has lost five of its last six games SU
* TOR has played 10 of its last 14 games OVER the total
* TOR has covered one of its last six road games
* TOR has lost six of its last seven road games SU
* TOR has played five of its last six road games OVER the total
* NJ has won and covered five of its last seven games
* NJ has played four of its last six games UNDER the total

Also…

* TOR has covered four of the last six meetings
* TOR has covered two of the last eight meetings as the road team
* NJ has won seven of the last eight meetings SU as the home team
* Fourteen of the last 17 meetings in East Rutherford have gone UNDER the total
* TOR has made more three-pointers in four of the last five meetings

After going through a terrible stretch, the Raptors put one back in the win column on Wednesday when they beat Indiana 101-88. Prior to that they had lost five straight games and were on a string of eight pointspread defeats in nine games. Last night Chris Bosh had 21 points and ten rebounds while three other Raptors had eight rebounds or more as Jay Triano, the first Canadian-born coach in NBA history, got his first win.

Jermaine O’Neal, the former Pacer, was supposed to be a strong support for Bosh while playing the center position. His production has been so-so, averaging 7.9 rebounds and 12.5 assists, and his 43% from the field has been nothing to write home about. Starting guard Jose Calderon has done a good job managing the rock since taking over the full-time point guard duties from T.J. Ford who went off to Indiana. Calderon is averaging 9.5 assists per game, with just 2.1 turnovers. Triano got a boost by inserting Jamario Moon and three-point threat Jason Kapono into the lineup. Kapono responded with 25 points against the Pacers.

So there is some good news.

The bad news is that New Jersey, which has been a nice surprise for its fans in what may be a lame-duck season in the Meadowlands, got a combined 69 points from Vince Carter (39) and Devin Harris (30) in a 129-127 win at the Air Canada Centre on November 21. In 15 career games against his former club, Carter has averaged 24.6 points per game on 48% shooting. In what was thought to be his last hurrah as Nets’ coach in a rebuilding year, Lawrence Frank is instead an early contender for the league’s coach of the year award. He’s melded together a number of players who haven’t been together before, including a lot of youngsters.

Harris, who started his first full season as point guard in place of Jason Kidd has been a scoring revelation, ranking fourth in the league at 24.8 ppg. Rookie Brook Lopez is averaging 7.5 rebounds and Yi Jianlian is hitting 44% from beyond the arc.

The problem for the Nets is that they haven’t been very successful at the Izod Center. Wednesday night’s 121-109 loss to the Knicks brought them to just 4-6 straight-up on their home floor. Injuries on the front court have made things more difficult, Josh Boone and Eduardo Najera are out along with Stromile Swift who has ankle problems. Unless the Nets are going to go with poor-shooting Jarvis Hayes, they are starting Bobby Simmons and Yi in a rather soft forward combo.

We think this gives the Raptors a chance in this game. Triano is obviously immensely popular in Canada as one of the country’s NBA pioneers, he is known as a players coach so hopefully the they respond for him. We’ll take the points with Toronto, the three-point underdog in the BetUS NBA sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: TORONTO +3 **

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