Toronto Raptors (3-1) at New Orleans Pelicans (0-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 11, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New Orleans Pelicans -3.5 -- Over/Under: 220
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
The Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans meet Thursday in NBA preseason action at the Smoothie King Center.
The Toronto Raptors will wrap up their preseason on the end of a rare back-to-back exhibition game. The Raptors are averaging 110.7 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allowing 97 points on 39.9 percent shooting. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 14.5 points and three rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds. Deng Adel is the third double-digit scorer and Pascal Siakam is dishing 2.3 assists. The Raptors have been rather balanced this preseason and have been their most impressive on the defensive end, as they’re a top-five defense in these meaningless games. The Raptors have to like how this roster is coming together and the effort they’ve played with up to this point. The Toronto Raptors have won five of their last six preseason games.
The New Orleans Pelicans also finish their preseason with a rare game on the end of a back-to-back. The Pelicans are averaging 106 points on 40 percent shooting and allowing 116.7 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Nikola Mirotic is averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds while Darius Miller is averaging 15 points and two assists. Anthony Davis is the third double-digit scorer and Jrue Holiday is dishing 3.3 assists. The Pelicans have been the second-best rebounding team in the preseason, but their defensive effort simply hasn’t been there, as they’re 34th in points allowed and that’s with allowing a poor shooting percentage from deep. We know the Pelicans are going to play and up and down style, and they’ve been solid offensively, but it’s the defensive effort that’s going to get this team back in the playoffs in a competitive Western Conference. The New Orleans Pelicans have lost six of their last seven preseason games.
The Raptors are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games and the over is 6-2 in Raptors last 8 games playing on 0 days rest. The Pelicans are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 0 days rest, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games overall. The Raptors are 14-2 ATS in the last 16 meetings in New Orleans and the over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
I've been blindly taking the points in most of these preseason games as the underdog has thrived and I'm not interested in laying points when the main roster barely plays. I'm certainly not laying points with both teams on the end of a back to back, and the Pelicans not playing a lick of defense. Heck, the Pelicans just allowed 140 points last night to the Miami Heat, which was a franchise record for them in preseason action. No, thanks. I'll side with the Raptors and the free bucket as a fade from the Pelicans.