New Orleans Pelicans (6-5 SU, 7-4 ATS, 5-6 O/U) vs. Toronto Raptors (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS, 5-5 O/U)
NBA: Thursday, November 9, 2017, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, 7:30 pm ET
Line: Toronto -5; Over/Under: 215.5
It’s an inter-conference clash north of the border. The New Orleans Pelicans try to remain hot as they head north to face the Toronto Raptors Thursday night. New Orleans won their third straight game as they took down the Pacers 117-112 on the road Tuesday night. Toronto won for the fourth time in six games as they outlasted the Bulls 119-114 at home Tuesday night. The Raptors have a 20-13 edge in the all-time regular season series and won the last four meetings, including both contests last season.
New Orleans Pelicans Go for Fourth Straight Win
New Orleans has won three in a row and five of their last seven to push over the .500 mark with the win over Indiana. The Pelicans ralled from a 14 point halftime deficit to get the win as they outscored Indiana 35-19 in the third quarter. New Orleans shot 50.6 percent from the field and knocked down 14 of their 35 three point attempts in the game. The Pelicans had a narrow 43-41 edge on the glass and rode the duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins to get the win. Davis had 37 points plus 14 rebounds while Cousins contributed 32 points and 13 boards in the victory.
The Pelicans are tied for 14th in the league in scoring offense with 106.3 points per game. The Pelicans are 8th in rebounding with 46.3 boards per game while ranking 5th with 24.1 assists per contest. New Orleans is 16th in scoring defense as they give up 106.2 points per contest. Anthony Davis is second on the Pelicans in scoring with 28.4 points to go with 12.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. DeMarcus Cousins (28.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists) playing alongside Davis is a nice 1-2 punch but the Pelicans need other guys to contribute. That means Jameer Nelson, Jrue Holiday (13.2 points, 6.1 assists), Ian Clark, Dante Cunningham, Tony Allen and E’Twaun Moore (9.9 points) all have to step up and put the ball in the hole as Davis and Cousins can’t do it alone. New Orleans is 15th in field goal percentage shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. The Pelicans are 13th with 10.3 made threes per game and stand tied for 26th in the league by converting 33 percent from long range this season.
Toronto Raptors Look to Tighten Up Defensively
Toronto bounced back from their loss to the Wizards by beating the Bulls but their defense was leaky. The Raptors gave up 114 points to a team that, even after that barrage, is averaging just 94.3 points per game. Toronto led by three after the opening quarter but blew the game open by outscoring Chicago 36-19 in the second to take a 20 point halftime edge. The Raptors needed that edge as they were outscored 33-21 in the fourth quarter to make it a closer game than they would have liked. Toronto shot 54.3 percent from the floor and knocked down 13 of 25 three point attempts in the contest. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points in the win.
The Raptors currently 9th in the league by averaging 108.9 points per game. Toronto stand in the bottom third of the league on the glass, ranking 25th with 41.3 boards per game. The Raptors are 15th in the league in assists with 21.9 dimes a night. Toronto is tied for 12th in scoring defense as they give up 103.9 points per game. DeMar DeRozan leads Toronto with 23.9 points plus 3.7 boards per contest. Jonas Valanciunas averages 11.5 points plus eight boards per contest. Kyle Lowry is the floor general for the Raptors and he contributes with 12.4 points plus 5.1 boards and 6.5 assists per game. Toronto received solid production from guys like Serge Ibaka (13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds) and Norman Powell: CJ Miles, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Delon Wright are needed to contribute this season. The Raptors are 7th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 47.2 percent from the field. Toronto is 22nd in the league by sinking 9.9 three pointers per game. The Raptors are 29th in the league in three point shooting as they hit 32.2 percent from beyond the arc.
- Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games
- Pelicans are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Thursday games
- Raptors are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 home games
- Raptors are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
Toronto is at home here, where they have gone 3-1 on the young season but the fact remains that their defense has to be a bit concerning at this point. The Raptors were just lit up by the league’s worst scoring offense in the Bulls to the tune of 114 points. New Orleans has won three straight and showed their grit by rallying from 14 down at the half to defeat Indiana on the road. The Raptors don’t have the big men to slow Davis and Cousins offensively: take the points and the Pelicans in this contest as they take advantage of the mismatches.