It must be nice to have your ‘down’ year still see you sitting at 3rd place in the Western Conference but that’s exactly the situation the San Antonio Spurs (30-16) find themselves in this year. To be fair, the Spurs are still great at home with only two losses at the AT&T Center this year. It’s the 11-14 road record that have Gregg Poppovich’s team looking especially vulnerable this season. For the 1/19 NBA free pick the Spurs have to go to one of the toughest places in the NBA to get a win – the Air Canada Centre.
A Rough Couple Weeks for the Spurs
The Spurs have played just one home game in the past two weeks and over that span they’ve posted losses in Atlanta, at the Lakers, and struggled to get a win in Brooklyn. Eight of the last 10 games have been on the road for San Antonio, not exactly an ideal schedule for a largely veteran team. In the 1/19 NBA free pick the Spurs will once again be traveling, facing the Raptors (30-13), who are 16-3 on their own court this season.
The Spurs struggles are coming mainly on the offensive end of the court. They’ve failed to break 103 points scored in six of the last 10 and they’re 5-5 over that span. It’s unfortunate the offense can’t get rolling, because the Spurs defense has been on point, limiting 8 of the last 10 opponents to less than 102. San Antonio has the #1 defense in the NBA in opponents points scored, and are top 6 in field goal and three point shooting against.
Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis), Manu Ginobili (right thigh contusion) and Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) are out for tomorrow night’s Spurs-Raptors game. pic.twitter.com/eS8FiaqTsP
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 18, 2018
Can Toronto’s Offense Match Up With San Antonio’s Defense?
The Spurs ‘D’ can lock you down, but the Raptors are up for the challenge in the 1/19 NBA free pick. The Raptors have the league’s #3 scoring offense and are 7th in field goal shooting percentage. Toronto has dropped two home games out of their last four at the Air Canada Centre, but those came against Golden State and a red hot Miami team. The Raptors offense has put up 110+ points in eight of their last 10, and three of those were without PG Kyle Lowry who missed time with a tailbone injury. Friday will be Lowry’s third game back off the injured list.
Toronto can put the biscuit in the basket, but their defense is very underrated too. The Raptors rank top 10 in points allowed, opponents field goal & three point shooting, and defensive rebounds. Toronto has been a bit inconsistent on that end of the court recently though, allowing 110+ points to six of the last 10 opponents. It could be a good night for an ‘over’ play as oddsmakers have set tonight’s total at just 205.5.
Toronto sure does like playing on Fri Spurs fans. The Raptors are 8-1 when playing on Friday’s this season, including a perfect 4-0 at home #GoSpursGo
— JeffGSpursZone (@JeffGSpursZone) January 19, 2018
1/19 NBA Free Pick Betting
The Spurs are without Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gay in the 1/19 NBA free pick but they still have one of the deepest teams in the NBA. this is why oddsmakers have set the total at just TOR -5.5. Taking Toronto is the third most popular bet of the NBA slate on Friday, with nearly 65% of the public liking the home team. The Spurs have gone 5-5 over their last 10, but all those wins came against non-playoff teams (Brooklyn, Denver, Sacramento, Phoenix, New York). It’s possible that San Antonio is a much worse team than they’re leading on to – which is why Toronto should be in line for a big win on Friday night.
Pick: Toronto Raptors -5.5