Today's featured FREE play comes from expert Ben Burns.
While he had to settle for a split yesterday, Ben Burns is off to a 5-3-1 start to the new week. That incudes a 3-1-1 mark in the NBA. He's now 47-24 his L71 pro basketball plays. Check out his expert analysis below.
NBA: Toronto vs Miami, Januay 23, 2013 - 7:30 PM
Capper: Ben Burns
https://experts.covers.com/Handicapper/Ben_BurnsPick: Toronto +11.5
It can be a little nerve-racking to go against the defending World Champions. The Heat are capable of a big win every time out, a fact that the Raptors are well aware of.
The champs have had an extended layoff here though and they're laying double-digits at the betting window.
Facing a scrappy Raptors team, which has been competitive nearly every time it has taken the floor, I feel the number may prove a little high.
The Heat haven't played for nearly a week. Their most recent game was last Thursday, at LA.
Rest can be nice, particularly after an extended road trip. However, that's a pretty long layoff. I wouldn't be surprised if the players are slightly out of sync. Adding a new player (Chris Anderson) to the mix may not help in that regard.
Note that the Heat are 0-2 ATS this season, when playing with three or more day's rest in between games.
On 11/29, the Heat had four day's off in between games. Laying 13 points, they barely defeated a severely depleted San Antonio team.
A couple of weeks before that, they had three day's off before a game vs. Milwaukee. Laying 9.5 points, the Heat won by seven.
The Raptors are also well-rested; but not overly so. They last played on Sunday, earning a victory over the Lakers.
The Raptors obviously don't have the type of stars that the Heat do. However, they are playing well and working hard right now. Prior to the win over LA, they'd lost four in a row. However, a closer look reveals that that those four losses came by an average of less than seven points, none greater than 11.
Going back further finds Toronto at a profitable 12-6-1 ATS its last 19. Note that the Raptors are 5-1 ATS when off an "upset" win.
While they've admittedly had some trouble with Miami, the Raptors are still a solid 14-9 ATS the past couple of seasons, when listed as road underdogs in the 9.5 to 12 range. During the same stretch, the Heat are 10-17-2 ATS as home favorites in the 9.5 to 12 range. Consider grabbing the points.
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