The Thursday night game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena is an East vs West tussle, as the Toronto Raptors travel to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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The Raptors will enter this one only narrowly missing out to the Spurs, while the Thunder took the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-104 on the road - with Danilo Gallinari putting up 30 points.
Can the Raptors snatch the points on the road?
Toronto Raptors (2.05) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (1.74)
The OKC Thunder are playing their best basketball this season of late. They go 23-17 outright for the campaign, but the most important stat is that they go 8-2 in their last ten.
Paul George’s reinvigorated performances in the first half of the season have played a big part in the Thunder’s success. However, it was Danilo Gallinari who got the points against the Timbers, but it was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who grabbed the headlines.
The 21-year old Canadian put up some incredible stats to record his first triple-double of his career, registering 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists and became the youngest player ever to put up a 20/20/10 game.
The Toronto Raptors lost their last game at home to the San Antonio Spurs, missing out by just one point as the game finished 105-104. Lowry continues to shine for the Raptors, making the team tick and putting up points consistently.
The Raptors, who are 25-14 overall, have been excellent on the road this season, going 11-7 outside of Toronto. We can see them bouncing back after the narrow defeat in their last.
Take the Raptors to win.
Over/Under Pick: Raptors to win & over 212.5 total (4.01)
The return of Pascal Siakam will give the Raptors a boost. They will also be pleased to hear the news Marc Gasol is back and expected to make his return in Oklahoma City.
Two of the top interior defenders in the league coming back into the fold will bring confidence to this Raptors roster. We can see the Raptors season kicking on from here, and for that reason we wanted to give them our NBA free pick of the week.
Nick Nurse is unlikely to expect Siakam to come back and start putting up points straight away, though he’s now in his second game back and it’s probable he’ll accelerate his play with more aggression and higher energy than we saw against the Spurs.
The Thunder have shown us they can play at both ends of the floor, and they’ll need to do that again tonight. While they’re good, they’re not elite. But, Toronto are specialists. Expect that to show in Oklahoma.
The NBA betting odds for the over/under lines are great, as you can see by the odds available on this wager. We anticipate this game to be fast-paced and high-scoring, even though both teams have a fairly solid defense, expect points.
Expect the Raptors to win & over 212.5 total.
Raptors to score over 27.5 in the first (1.90)
The Thunder’s defense has been solid lately and are ranked 14th in the league, allowing 45.3 field goal shooting percentage. The Raptors have ruled out Fred VanVleet’s participation in this one, which bodes well for the OKC Thunder.
But, with Lowry and Siakam on the court together, we fancy the Raptors to make it work offensively for the second half of the season. The Raptors offense is way down at 18th in the league, which will hopefully change when VanVleet, Siakam and Lowry are playing together again.
Toronto is defending phenomenally well, second in the league and allowing just 102.6 points per game. This will be a real test for the likes of Gallinari, George and Gilgeous-Alexander to try and put up the points against Toronto.
The Toronto Raptors have been consistently in the top 10 of the NBA power rankings this season. They currently sit in ninth.
Take the Raptors to go over 27.5 in the first.