Charlotte Hornets (11-30) at Toronto Raptors (17-23)
Game Info: Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. EST (Scotiabank Arena)
Betting Odds: Raptors (-7) / Over/Under (231.5)
Pick: Raptors (-7)
We are going to travel north of the border tonight to take a look at a clash between two bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference, where the Charlotte Hornets play against the Toronto Raptors. In a game where both teams have struggled to string things together all year, does one team have the clear edge coming into this one?
To say it how it is, Charlotte has been a terrible team all season so far. They rank dead last (30th) in offensive rating and 26th in defensive rating, so not great on either side of the court. On top of this, they are also last in three point percentage. Despite all of this, one bright spot for them to build on in the coming seasons is PG LaMelo Ball, who is quietly putting up 23.1 PTS, 5.5 REB, and 8.3 AST on the year. The team runs through his ability to create for himself and others around him. If he is not clicking, they find it hard to stay close in games, especially on the road. They have played well in their last two games in which they beat the Bucks on the road by 29 and played a close game, although fell short against the promising Pacers (2-0 ATS in that span). They will need Ball to be on his best in this one if they want any possibility of getting on a run and sneaking back into the picture in the Eastern Conference.
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Toronto has been a disappointment up to this point in the season, which has spurred trade talks for all of their valuable pieces. But, no moves have been made yet, so if they want to work their way back into the thick of things they must come away with wins in situations like this. They come off of an important win against the Trail Blazers on Sunday night to stop the three game skid that they were in. Much like the Hornets, they have struggled on the deep ball this year, but they are a much better defensive squad, which I think will certainly show in this one. They rank 13th in defensive rating, which will only get better as their stars continue to stay healthy and gel as the year goes on. They are 1-3 ATS in their last four games played, but this one should be a little different for them as it is against a much inferior team at home. Nick Nurse will hope that his team can get it going here as we head into the midpoint in the season to squash all of the rumors of his star players being shipped off to other contenders.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Charlotte is 7-24 SU as an underdog this year
- Toronto is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 home games
- Charlotte is 13-8 ATS in their road games played this year
This may not be the most exciting game you've ever watched, but if you are looking for a clear edge in this matchup, the Raptors are the play to make. This is one that may jump to the 8-9 mark by tipoff as the Raptors continue to get big money from sharp bettors, so I suggest jumping in now as fast as you can. The Raptors will be motivated as ever in this game and I see Siakam, Trent Jr. and Vanvleet getting their way against a porous defense that Charlotte brings in. Give me the Raptors big at home.
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