I’m now 11-10 in Raptors free picks as Toronto (-12.5) scored a win but only by 10, 118-108 at home versus New York yesterday. This evening the Raptors travel to Chicago to take on the 17-9 Bulls.
(22-6) Toronto Raptors @ (17-9) Chicago Bulls
Probable starting line-ups:
Toronto – PG – Kyle Lowry SG – Terrence Ross C – Jonas Valanciunas SF – James Johnson PF – Amir Johnson
Chicago – Point Guard – Derrick Rose Shooting Guard – Jimmy Butler C- Joakim Noah Small Forward – Mike Dunleavy Power Forward – Pau Gasol
Toronto – PPG – Kyle Lowry 19.5 RPG – Jonas Valanciunas 8.8 APG – Kyle Lowry 7.8
Chicago – Points Per Game – LeBron James 24.6 Rebounds Per Game – Kevin Love 9.6 Assists Per Game – LeBron James 7.6
Team Scoring: (with league ranking in parentheses)
Toronto – PF – 107.8 (2nd) PA – 99.1 (13th)
Chicago – Points For (Per Game) – 102.9 (11th) Points Against (Per Game) – 99.1 (12th)
The Toronto Raptors have won 6 straight games and own the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 22-6 mark. Yesterday afternoon they notched a 118-108 win at home versus the Knicks. Point guard Kyle Lowry and back-up shooting guard Louis Williams led the team with 22 points apiece. Lowry was 7 of 12 from the field in 31 minutes. He also had 9 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Williams was 6 of 14 from the field in 26 reserve minutes. Point guard Greivis Vasquez came off the bench to score 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting in 25 minutes. He dished out 5 assists and had 4 rebounds. Small forward Terrence Ross netted 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting in 36 minutes on the floor. Power forward James Johnson and center Jonas Valanciunas each scored 10 points. The team shot 48.8% from the field, 42.4% from the 3 point line (14-33), and 74.1% from the free throw line (20-27). The Raptors out-rebounded the Knicks 43-32. The team took a 16 point lead in to the 4th quarter. Toronto is 8-3 on the road this season. Tonight is the 2nd game of a back to back. They are 4-2 in the 2nd game of a back to back so far this season. Tonight begins a 6 game road trip. Their next game is Saturday at the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Chicago Bulls come in to tonight’s tip-off winners of 2 in a row and 5 of their last 6 games. On Friday they were victorious 103-97 at Memphis. Small forward Jimmy Butler led the way with a double-double as he scored 31 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He was 11 of 21 from the field in 43 minutes. Power forward Nikola Mirotic came off the bench to score 27 points on 7 of 10 shooting in 30 minutes. He was 6 of 6 from the 3 point line. He also grabbed 8 rebounds. Point guard Aaron Brooks netted 17 points on 6 of 13 shooting in 32 reserve minutes. Center Joakim Noah had a double-double as he scored 10 points and had 13 rebounds. The team shot 43.8% from the field, 38.5% from the 3 point line (10-26), and 87.9% from the free throw line (29-33). The Bulls out-rebounded the Grizzlies 51-45. The team’s big quarter was in the 3rd when they out-scored their opposition 31-21. Chicago is 12-4 on the road this season. Tonight is the 1st game of a back to back. They are 5-3 in the 1st game of a back to back so far this season. Tomorrow night they play at Washington.
In their first meeting this season Chicago was victorious 100-93 at Toronto. After tonight the 2 teams play two more times, March 20th at Chicago and March 25th at Toronto.
Back in their first meeting the Bulls handed the Raptors their first home loss (at the time) of the season. I know the Raptors will be looking for a little bit of revenge this evening. The Bulls have struggled in the beginning portions of home games this season but have won their last 3 home games. I think they could be finding their groove at home. Take the Bulls -4.5 (1.95) (Bet365)
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