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Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat Free NBA Pick & Preview

Raptors vs Heat Online Betting Odds

The Toronto Raptors will make the trip down to South Beach for a date with the Miami Heat on Monday night. The Raptors come to town having won three in a row following a stretch in which they dropped four of six games, while the Heat have three wins in their last four and six in their last nine following a stretch in which they lost five of six. [ad-4468020]

NBA Predictions
Toronto Raptors (42-31) at Miami Heat (50-22)
Date: Monday, March 31, 2014
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Venue: American Airlines Arena
City: Miami, Florida
O/U Odds: 195.5
Spread: Miami -5.5

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The Raptors may appear to be back on the winning track, but they’re going to get a chance to really prove it this week. The team’s schedule really softened up this past week, with the team playing a trio of games against some of the East’s bottom-dwellers, beat the Celtics twice, and picking up a win over Orlando on Sunday. They’ll begin this week with games against the Heat, Rockets, and Pacers.

The Raptors held a sizeable lead in that game against the Magic, taking a 19-point lead into the break, but let that lead slip through their fingers in the fourth quarter, allowing Orlando to come back and tie the game. Toronto took back control of the game from there and went on to win 98-93.

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Guard DeMar DeRozan paced all scorers in the game with 28 points on 6-of-14 shooting, knocking down 15-of-16 free throw attempts. Center Jonas Valanciunas had one of his better games of late, scoring 20 points on 6-of-8 field goals, also converting on all eight of his free throw attempts, adding nine rebounds.
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The win came just two days after Toronto clinched its first playoff spot since 2008 with a win over the Celtics. Now they’ll look to do something else they haven’t done since then: beat Miami.

Toronto’s 14-game losing streak against the Heat has seen the last 13 losses coincide with LeBron James’s arrival in South Beach, and Chris Bosh’s move from the Raptors to the Heat. The Heat will have each of those two players in the lineup for this one, but they will be shorthanded in other areas. Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, and Greg Oden each missed the last two games, while Ray Allen missed the last three games while battling the flu.

Chris Bosh played his first seven seasons with the Raptors. In nine meetings against them since joining the Heat, Bosh has averaged 16.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. In the most recent meeting, Bosh recorded eight points and 11 rebounds in a 102-97 Heat win, though the Raptors did cover the spread in that one.

The time has come for the Raptors to exorcise some demons. With the club headed to the playoffs for the first time in a long time, they need to show that they can beat a contender, and snapping their losing streak to Miami is long overdue.

The Raptors are 19-8 ATS in the last 27 road games, and 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Miami.

The play: Toronto +5.5

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