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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Dec 9 Early Bird NBA Play: Computer Says Toronto Live Dog at Cleveland

Toronto Raptors +7 at Cleveland Cavaliers

Our computer simulation approach highlights value betting the Toronto Raptors to cover at the Cleveland Cavaliers this evening. Our methodology points to a range of outcomes that span Toronto losing by 2 to winning by 2.

Despite the undeniable star-power that emanates from the Cavaliers locker room, and the high expecations that will undoubtedly shadow LeBron James for the remainder of his NBA career, at this point in the season, the Cavaliers (12-7) are only a marginally better team than the Raptors (16-5), by the numbers -- ESPN and Power Rankings pit Cleveland at number 8 and Toronto at 9.

However, stretch Guard, DeMar DeRozen tore his adductor longus tendon versus the Dallas Mavericks on November 28 and has been sidelined since. In the five games DeRozen missed, Toronto's offense averaged 113 points per game, above their whole season average of about 109. In fact, the Raptors have only played one one game without DeRozen where they managed less than 100 points -- the December 5th contest at Cleveland.

On the other hand, Toronto's defense has definitely suffered absent DeRozen. In the time he has missed, the Raptors have given the opposition an average of 111 points per game -- well above both the average of 95 points allowed with DeRozen in the lineup, as well as the whole season average of giving 100 points per game to the opposition. To wit, in stark contrast to the 91-105 thumping the Cavaliers put on the Raptors this past Friday, a fully-staffed Toronto team left Cleveland on November 22 with a 110-93 win. So, Toronto will likely be hard(er) pressed to disturb the Cavs offensive rhythm absent DeRozen, however, the Raptors best plan of attack might simply be to to try to offset Cleveland's output with their own prolific offense.

Bottom line: we anticipate seeing a proud, up-and-coming Toronto Raptors team come out looking to exact revenge for the decisive loss Cleveland hung on them four days ago. Cleveland definitely has the more talented squad, and the Cavaliers seem to be starting to gel (they have strung together 7 consecutive wins straight up, and are 5-2 versus the number over this same horizon). Nonetheless, Toronto has demonstrated the offensive prowess required to, at the very least, keep the game sufficiently close to garner the cover.

Happy betting!!

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