NBA picks: 4 best bets for Raptors vs Nets
Jack Green provides his four NBA predictions for Friday night's game between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.
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Toronto Raptors (+4.5)
The Raptors have won two consecutive games by a margin of at least 13 points, and they look a good bet against the Nets on Friday night.
Brooklyn are third in the Eastern Conference with a 14-9 record, but they’ve suffered surprising defeats to the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers (twice) within their last eight games.
The Nets are genuine title contenders thanks to the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, but three of their last five wins have come by a margin of four points or fewer as their three superstars search for continuity, so it’s worth backing the Raptors to at least keep this close.
Over 241.5 points
The Nets’ offense has been unstoppable since they traded for James Harden in the middle of January, but they’re also terrible defensively.
The Nets since the Harden trade:— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 1, 2021
122.6 offensive rating
- Best in league
- Would be the best of all time
119.9 defensive rating
- Worst in league
- Would be the worst of all time pic.twitter.com/B5EbhfuEzH
�Brooklyn’s last four games have all gone over 244 points, including a 147-125 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and a remarkable 149-146 defeat to the Wizards.
The Raptors rank a respectable 13th in the NBA in offensive rating this season and scored 123 against the Orlando Magic last time out, so they’re more than capable of contributing plenty of points in another high-scoring game here.
Fred VanVleet over 21.5 points
VanVleet leads the Raptors in points per game this season and exploded for a franchise record 54 points in their last game against the Magic.
The point guard has now scored 21 points or more in five of his last eight games and should have another big game against the Nets’ Kyrie Irving, whose defensive reputation is average at best.
Norman Powell over 19.5 points
Powell’s role in the Raptors’ offense has grown this season and he’s now scored over 20 points in five consecutive games.
Even as VanVleet dominated the ball in his 54-point game, Powell managed to add 23 points on 15 shots. He’s now a reliable scoring option for Toronto and should see plenty of action on Friday night with OG Anunoby out injured.
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