January 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM #53102
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
The Dallas Mavericks will make the trip up to Ontario on Wednesday to take on the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.The Mavericks make the trip north of the border having alternated wins and losses in each of their last four games, while the Raptors will look to break out of a mini slump on their home court.
Dallas Mavericks (25-18) at Toronto Raptors (20-20)
Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Air Canada Centre
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
O/U Odds: 203.5
Spread: Toronto -1.5
A raucous home crowd can be expected in Toronto on Wednesday night, as is the case any time legendary Raptor Vince Carter returns to town. The teams could put on a show for the home crowd this time around, just like they did in their previous meeting this season, a 109-108 win for the Raptors in overtime, won on a jumper by DeMar DeRozan and some strong defense by the Raptors in the closing seconds.
Lost in Toronto’s improved play at the offensive end as they’ve upped their efficiency in the wake of the Rudy Gay trade, and drastically improved their bench play, is the fact that the Raptors have been strong at the defensive end all season, and are finally playing the kind of basketball head coach Dwane Casey loves to see. The Raptors have surrendered 96.5 points per games, the third-lowest total in the league.
The Raptors have hit a bit of a rough patch after playing some solid basketball, losing three of their last four. The importance of righting the ship sooner than later will surely be pressed upon the players, so an A-effort can be expected from the club on this night.
In addition to Vince Carter returning to town, so to will Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon. Calderon has helped the Mavericks to the second best assist-to-turnover ratio in all of basketball. Calderon is personally second in the category with a rate of 3.98 on the year. Even still, Carter’s presence will dominate the home crowd’s attention, as the 36-year-old will be playing in one of his final games in Toronto.
The Mavericks are 11-4 against Eastern Conference teams on the season. In their last meeting with Toronto, guard Monta Ellis racked up 21 points and 11 assists. He’ll look to continue his hot play of late after racking up 22 points and eight assists in the team’s last game, a 102-97 win over Cleveland.
The Raptors may have hit a bump in the road, but the Mavericks have been a much better team at home, and even there Toronto was able to come away with a win. The Raptors know that they need to snuff out their current slide and will look to use this game to do so.
The Raptors are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games, and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
The Mavericks are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams.
The play: Toronto -1.5
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