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Toronto Raptors vs. San Antonio Spurs Boxing Day NBA Preview & Free Pick

Raptors vs Spurs NBA Handicapping

Wonder what Andrea Bargnani has to say for himself now.

A few weeks back, you recall, the Raptors’ 7-footer and former overall No. 1 draft choice raised more than a few eyebrows by putting his own team dead last on his private NBA power ranking chart.

Toronto Raptors (9-19) at San Antonio Spurs (21-8)
Wednesday, Dec. 26
AT&T Center, San Antonio
8:30 p.m., EST
Spread – Spurs -13 Bovada

O/U – 201.5

Matchup | Preview

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“We’re pretty much the worst team in the league,” he was quoted as saying, and while he may have been ignoring the Wizards’ potentially record-setting bad start and exaggerating for effect, there’s no doubt that those November-into-early December Raptors were pretty bad.

But since Bargnani opened his mouth, the Raptors have been on their best run in a few years. They have five straight wins, including a decisive victory at home over the otherwise red-hot Rockets, and are on a Canadian high as they head into tonight’s game against the Spurs in San Antonio.

Who knew that the Raptors had this in them?

Certainly not Bargnani, who has had to content himself sitting on the bench munching on crow while Toronto has gone on its run. Bargnani last played on Dec.[ad-6571516]

10 when he suffered elbow and wrist injuries in a game against the Blazers, and he and teammate Kyle Lowry are out indefinitely.

So if the Raptors are the worst team in the league WITH Bargnani, and they have won five in a row WITHOUT him, does that make Bargnani the worst player in the league?

Not quite, but the Raptors discovered soon after taking him No. 1 in 2006 that Bargnani was a European big who really didn’t want to bang. He’s never averaged more than 6.2 rebounds a game, and he would be content hanging around the 3-point line and living (and mostly dying) with outside shots. He is what he is, and the Raptors would love to shed him and move on.

On the plus side, the Raptors have been getting solid play from veterans Jose Calderon (14.2 points/10.7 assists in his last six games) and DeMar DeRozan (18 points/5 rebounds).

Toronto will spend this week on the road, heading to New Orleans and Orlando for a Friday/Saturday back-to-back before returning to Canada for an extended (6-game) homestand that includes several winnable games.

THE PICK – While the Raptors are only 2-14 on the road this season and 6-10 ATS away from home. The problem for Toronto is that the Raptors cannot win (0-13) when they give up more than 100 points, and San Antonio almost always goes over 100 when it plays at home.

Toronto will move heaven and earth to control tempo, so an under play would have some value, even against a San Antonio team that has had rest and is coming off a 129-91 win over Dallas.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!