NBA Game 6 Playoff Betting Line & Preview
Toronto Raptors Vs Miami Heat Playoff Game 6 Prediction
By Dan Favale
Miami Heat (-4) vs. Toronto Raptors (+4)
Hate ugly, unpredictable basketball? Then this second-round slugfest between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors isn’t for you. Keeping with that theme, this isn’t a game you should normally want to touch. Like, at all. There are so many moving parts, too many moving parts, an inordinate number of things that could go one way or the other.
Let’s start with the injuries. Jonas Valanciunas is done for the series, and Hassan Whiteside isn’t expected to play in Game 6. Valanciunas had been the Raptors’ most consistent source of offense, but his absence has seemed to open up more room for Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, as they run pick-and-rolls with Bismack Biyombo. Playing without Whiteside, meanwhile, has forced the Heat into super small ball mode. They actually used Joe Johnson—the 6’7″ Joe Johnson—as a center at points in their Game 5 loss. That actually happened.
DeMarre Carroll is also banged up for the Raptors, but he is expected to play. The same goes for the Heat with Luol Deng. See? It’s a crap fest in here. But the edge, so long as Whiteside is out, now lies with the Raptors, mostly because one of Lowry or DeRozan has started picking up their play. That’s not as good as both of them succeeding at the same time, but it’s most definitely better than the alternative that’s been explored much too often, when both of them are off. Toronto has more shooting overall, and Miami is far too reliant on a 34-year-old Dwyane Wade to get things done.
And yet, we arrive here, a couple hundred words into this shindig, absolutely torn. The Heat are at home, have been willing to experiment with a ton of different lineups, one of which may inevitably catch Toront off guard, and this series just feels like one that will go the full seven games.
This isn’t a scientific pick, but the Heat only lost by eight points in Game 5, even though Goran Dragic, Johnson and Wade all had poor shooting night. We are rolling with them without feeling that great about the decision. So feel free to take the night off if you please. But for those of you, like us, brazen enough to ride this crazy train all the way through, it’s the Heat, at home, at -4.
The Pick: Heat (-4)
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