Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers - 1/19/14
Los Angeles Lakers (15-25) at Toronto Raptors (20-18)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Raptors -9 -- Over/Under: 203 See the Latest Odds
The surging Toronto Raptors host the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon basketball.
Head to head, the Lakers are 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings while the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Raptors are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games overall. The Lakers on the other hand are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. win and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Could the Toronto Raptors actually be good? Ever since shipping Rudy Gay off to Sacramento, the Raptors have become a formidable force, especially on the defensive end, and they have been a covering machine, going 16-4 against the spread since the trade. Toronto has held eight of their last 12 opponents under 90 total points as they continue to pile up the wins and build their lead in the Atlanta Division, currently leading the second-place Brooklyn Nets by four games. The Raptors have also been lights out at home lately, winning and covering in six straight games at Air Canada Center.
It hasn't been the best start to 2014 for the Los Angeles Lakers as they come into today's showdown having won just twice in eight meetings in the New Year. On a positive note, the Lakers are coming off a win in their last outing in Boston on Friday night, coming away with a 107-104 win thanks to some hot shooting from beyond the arc, hitting 12-20 from long rang. The victory also snapped a seven-game road losing streak.
If you think double-digits sound like too many points, consider that the Raptors have won five of their last six games at home by double digits, which includes wins over Indiana, New York, Detroit and Brooklyn. Meanwhile, the Lakers had lost their previous four road games by an average of 17.5 points.
Like I said in my opening sentance, Toronto could actually be a pretty dangerous team come playoff time if they keep on playing basketball like this. They have strangely enough turned into a defensive force since shipping Rudy Gay away and their numbers rival that of the defensive powerhouse that is the Indiana Pacers. LA could always get the back door cover, but I'm not going against this Raptors team at the moment, especially at home...
Dan’s Pick: Toronto -9
Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports