NBA Betting: SportsTips’ Preseason Betting Preview on the Toronto Raptors

NBA Betting: SportsTips’ Preseason Betting Preview on the Toronto Raptors
Sun 13th December 2020

The season is right around the corner and the Toronto Raptors have opened with +2500 odds for the 2020-21 NBA Championship. The experts here at SportsTips have taken the time to review every single NBA team and offer up their opinion on how each team is expected to perform in the 2020-21 season, meaning you can place your best NBA bets with confidence. 

So, without further ado, have a read on below at all our NBA betting stats and information on the Toronto Raptors:

Toronto Raptors’ 2019-20 Season Review

After winning the 2018-19 NBA Championship, the Toronto Raptors found themselves longshots to repeat after Kawhi Leonard left for the Clippers in free agency. This left Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry to lead the team into their next phase, and they did an incredible job. 

Toronto finished with a 53-19 record, good enough for 2nd spot in the East and the second best record in the NBA. This high mark after losing Leonard caused Nick Nurse to win Coach of the Year.

Pascal Siakim broke out as the leading scorer and earned himself his first All Star selection, with averages of 22.9 points and 7.3 rebounds. 

Lowry was as reliable as ever, averaging 19.4 points, 7.5 assists and 5 boards per night while being the heart and soul of the Toronto team. 

Fred Van Vleet emerged as a pivotal scoring guard in the team while OG Anunoby had continued improvement. Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka continued to be forces on the inside, sharing minutes to allow rest and recuperation, with the playoffs being the big goal. 

The Raptors easily overcame the Brooklyn Nets easily in the first round but struggled against the Boston Celtics. Siakim wasn’t able to make shots like he had previously and despite some big plays, Toronto fell short in a tough seven games. 

Kawhi left a whole in the offense that saw the team suffer, with their offensive rating being ranked just 14th. Their defensive rating, on the other hand, stood up to the test, ranking second in the league. 

Their increased performance over expectation saw the Raptors, with a record of 39-30-2, finish with the fifth best record against the spread. Their defensive prowess saw them finish in the bottom half of totals betting, however they had a positive record of 36-34-1, 18th best in the league. 

Toronto Raptors’ Offseason Changes 

With picks 29 and 29 in the 2020 NBA draft, Toronto selected point guard Malachi Flynn out of San Diego State and shooting guard Jalen Harris out of Nevada. Experts had Flynn going to Toronto on their pre draft boards, but, as is usual, the 59th spot was a bit of a random guess.

Players In: Aron Baynes, DeAndre’ Bembry, Henry Ellenson, Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris, Alize Johnson, Alex Len, Yuta Watanabe

Players Out: Marc Gasol, Dewan Hernandez, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Serge Ibaka, Malcolm Miller

Toronto Raptors’ 2020-21 Season Preview

Finishing with the second most wins in the league (53) at the end of the 2019-20 season, Toronto’s title defense was ended in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in the Orlando Bubble.

After falling one win short of another appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Raptors lost two key components of their front court in free agency with Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol returning to the United States.

Despite adding veteran center Aron Baynes to replace their champion bigs, it is fair to say that the Raptors made no significant improvements to a team that currently isn’t as talented as Brooklyn, Boston, Miami, Milwaukee or a healthy Philadelphia.

With a plethora of championship experience still on their roster, the Raptors will enter the 2020-21 season as one of the top six teams in their conference with current odds of +1000 to win the East and return to the NBA Finals.

As both the league and the world continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto will face bigger challenges than most other franchises in the 2020-21 season. It was recently announced that the Raptors will be based in Florida to start the season, with the aim of reducing international travel.

Traditionally in the Atlantic division, the Raptors have dominated recent years, winning six of the last seven division championships. However division rivals Brooklyn (+275), Boston (+550) and Philadelphia (+800) all have superior odds to win the Eastern Conference in 2021.. 

Will the Toronto Raptors Make the Playoffs?

The losses of Ibaka and Gasol are going to hurt the Raptors in 2020/21, however there is still enough championship pedigree on the roster to ensure that Toronto will make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, currently -1000 to do so. The Bucks, Nets, Celtics, Heat and 76’ers all have more talented rosters than the Raptors, however Toronto are the undeniable sixth seed as it stands. 

Toronto Raptors’ Key Games

January 4: vs Boston Celtics: Boston eliminated Toronto from last year’s playoffs

January 10: @ Golden State Warriors: Rematch of the 2019 NBA Finals

January 20: vs Miami Heat: Battle for Florida (Due to Raptors Relocation)

January 27: vs Milwaukee Bucks: Top two teams in the East last season

February 5: @ Brooklyn Nets: Brooklyn will be the up and coming team in the Atlantic division

TBD: vs Los Angeles Lakers: Marc Gasol vs former team / matchup against the reigning NBA champions

TBD: vs Los Angeles Clippers: Serge Ibaka vs former team

Toronto Raptors’ Betting Summary

With the Raptors engaging in a number of offseason personnel changes, they currently sit well back from the favourites to win the 2021 NBA championship with current odds of +2500.

In the Eastern Conference, Toronto trail Milwaukee (+190), Brooklyn (+275), Boston (+550), Miami (+800) and Philadelphia (+800) to win the Conference at +1000 odds, with Indiana (+4000) and Atlanta (+5000) rounding out the top eight favourites.

Given their odds, Toronto are still regarded as a contender to return to the NBA finals albeit as an outside chance, solid value to do so at +1000. Having lost Gasol and Ibaka, Toronto is expected to take a step back next season, with the team’s regular season total wins line listed at 41.0.

However, the Raptors went 18-10 without Gasol last season and 13-4 without Ibaka. A sixth consecutive 50+ win season is unlikely given the 72-game schedule, however Toronto should comfortably surpass 41 wins (Over -110)  and remain amongst the top of the East, with Aron Baynes filling the void of their outgoing big men.

Reigning NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse, is currently at +2000 to win the award for a second consecutive season. Given that the Raptors will be playing home games in Florida for the first half of the season (at least) as well as the changes that have been made to Toronto’s roster, Nick Nurse will be under immense pressure to remain a contender in the Eastern Conference.

If the Raptors once again own one of the best two records in the league, Nurse will be a deserved candidate to once again win the NBA Coach of the Year award, given the circumstances that the franchise is currently facing. Great value at +2000.

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of PointsBet.

For more NBA news and information, check out our NBA hub, and if you want more NBA betting previews on the other teams, we’ve got the information you need! Don’t forget to check out our Twitter for all the latest NBA betting updates throughout the entire season!

Jesse is and always has been a lover of sports. No matter the league, no matter the game, Jesse is constantly keeping up to date with the latest odds, news, injuries and stats. He has a strong interest in the NBA and the NFL, and he will always strive to keep you up to date with the best news, odds, predictions and picks that the ever engaging sporting world has to offer.