Kawhi Leonard makes his return to Toronto for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night on ESPN. Leonard played his former team last month, but that game was in Los Angeles. Wednesday’s game will be in Toronto and Leonard should get a warm reception by the fans in Toronto Raptors because he led the team to an NBA title last season. Let’s look at the game between the Clippers and Raptors and NBA picks.
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- Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Scotiabank Arena
- Opening NBA Odds: Check Back Later
- Clippers vs. Raptors TV Coverage: ESPN
The Clippers are in the midst of a long road trip and this is not a great spot on Wednesday, as it will be their third game in four days. They did have Tuesday off so Leonard should be playing, as it will not be a back-to-back situation. The Clippers have been far better against the spread at home than on the road. They were 9-4-1 ATS in their first 14 home games, but just 2-7 ATS in their first nine road games. The Clippers are averaging about 114 points per game, while they are giving up 108 points per contest. Leonard leads the team in scoring at just over 24 points per game.
Toronto will also be playing their third game in four days, and they also had Tuesday off. The Raptors have been a good NBA team to bet on at home this season, as they are 8-3 ATS. Toronto is averaging about 113 points per game and giving up 106 per contest. Pascal Siakam leads the team in scoring at 25 points per game.
The focus on Wednesday night will be on Leonard, but the reception he will get should be positive and Leonard isn’t that concerned about the return. “I'll be thinking about just playing against the team and wanting to win the game, for the most part," Leonard said to the media, "Just really getting my ring that night. ... We're there for one reason: to play the Raptors and try to win the game."
These teams met last month in Los Angeles and it was the Clippers winning 98-88 and just barely covering the 9.5-point spread. Leonard scored 12 points in that game and the game went way under the total of 221.5. The Raptors have won six of the last ten in this NBA series and they are 7-3 ATS, with four of the last five going under. The Raptors have won 8 of the last 10 at home against the Clippers and they are 8-2 ATS, with five games going under, four going over the total, with one push.
Both teams are playing their third game in four days, so there is no advantage in terms of rest. The Clippers are in the midst of a road trip and so far this season they have struggled to cover the spread in road games. Toronto is coming home after a road trip and they have been excellent against the spread at home. The Clippers are not yet to the level of the Lakers in terms of public support, but they are getting to be more of a public team. The value is on Toronto, so I will take the Raptors plus the points on Wednesday night.
Clippers vs. Raptors Score Prediction: Raptors 108, Clippers 105
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