Houston Rockets visit Toronto Raptors tonight, in a match that should prove to be a treat for all the NBA fans, which is usually the case when two heavyweights clash against each other. The match will take place at Scotiabank Arena and it will be the 2nd H2H match of the season between these two sides.
The home side, Toronto Raptors are currently sitting at the 2nd place in the Eastern Conference, where they hold an impressive record of 46-18. They will enter this match after a 112:107 overtime defeat against Detroit Pistons, which ended their 2 games winning streak. Despite a disappointing loss, Raptors are still in excellent form, winning 9 out of their last 11 matches. The impressive aspect of Raptors is not their offence (8th most efficient offensive team in the league), but mainly their defence, which is especially true when it comes to defending against the 3pt shots. This should prove to be a huge asset against Rockets, who score by far the most points from behind the arc. Their efficiency, from the 3pt line, however, will be put to the test tonight.
Houston Rockets are currently the 5th team in the West with a 38-25 record, which is good on its own, but what is even more impressive is Rockets 5 games winning streak, which should give them the needed morale boost before heading to Toronto. In the course of their last 5 matches, Houston defeated GSW (112:118), Atlanta Hawks (119:111), Charlotte Hornets (113:118), Miami Heat (121:118) and most recently Boston Celtics (104:115). What I liked from Houston Rockets in the match against Celtics was their much-improved defence, which held Boston at 35 FG% in the 2nd quarter. Houston as a team have had their ups and downs this season, but as it seems now, they look exceptionally strong, especially with the all their starters healthy and ready to face off against the best in the league. I could also argue Houston has a chance to win the Western Conference if they can continue with their form. Houston will only miss 2 players in the next match; Shumpert and Faried, while Pacers remain without Johnson, Sabonis and of course Oladipo.
Houston Rockets have been in an excellent form lately, with seemingly no team capable of stopping them. Their offence looks strong, and the same can be said for their improved defence. Despite all that I don’t expect them to get easy shots tonight. Raptors are known for defending their 3pt line well, which might be concerning for Houston who utilizes the 3pt line more than any other team in the league. Not only are they good at defending the 3pt line, but Toronto Raptors defence has also improved overall since the return of Gasol. I like Houston Rockets, who have clearly switched into the “playoff mode”. They are one of the best offensive teams in the league, and with a much-improved defence, they as mentioned, are a strong competitor for the Western Conference title. As for our prediction, I believe teams have strong enough defences to prevent any easy shots of their opponents. The over/under line is set at 227, which is far too high for this match, which is why we will predict this one to end in under numbers.
Prediction: Under 227.50 points
Odds: 2.03 Pinnacle