| Thu 19/10/2017 - 05:53 EDT

Big Favourite Raptors A Shaky Bet Against Bulls

Big Favourite Raptors A Shaky Bet Against Bulls

The Raptors tip off the 2017-18 NBA season at the comforts of the Air Canada Centre against the Chicago Bulls, who have quickly gone from bad to worse on the heels of more bad news.

First, the Bulls lost star player Jimmy Butler in a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Wolves for an injured Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen (the Wolves' first-round pick this year). And now they've lost both Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis thanks to an offseason scuffle.

But Raptors' backers should be wary. The Raptors have a history of struggling against the Bulls when it comes to betting having a dismal 1-9 ATS (against the spread) record against the Bulls. Granted, this was against better Bulls teams but being a 12-point favourite here means the Raptors should run over the Bulls. Anything outside of a blowout win will be unacceptable.

The Raptors will win this game but they may just struggle to cover the -12.0 spread. The Bulls are returning only one starter and have two of their three best offensive players hurt. But the difference comes with the bench. The Raptors lost key backups and will be rolling out the young unpredictable prospects. Come garbage time, the Bulls might just beat the spread. 

Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors Preview

Stop if you've seen this scenario before: the favourite team kicks the underdog's butt all through three periods. They're up huge. That 12-pt spread is in the bag.

Bettors are celebrating and counting their winnings. Then the fourth period starts and the coach benches most of the starters while the underdog team lets its best players keep playing. Suddenly, the favourite's massive lead slowly dwindles until the final minute when the underdog scores to obliterate the spread and kill the bets.

This scenario is all too common and could be what it's in store here for the Raptors. Unless the Bulls somehow keep the game close through three periods, coach Dwane Casey may elect to bench his starters namely the oft-injured Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan. The Raptors are in it for the long run. The Bulls, who have already assumed lottery status, will keep letting their guys play.

The Raptors finished eighth last season in ATS as a home favourite with 53.7% success rate and ranked 11th in conference games at a 53.3% clip. What's different for them this season is the loss of the likes of Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson, and P.J. Tucker. They also parted with Terrence Ross, another key bench scorer. Between these four, the Raptors are losing a combined 34.7 points and 10.9 win shares (WS) off the bench.

Outside of C.J. Miles who averaged 10.7 points per game with a 4.0 WS, the majority of the Raptors' new bench players are still just-developing prospects. Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, and Fred VanVleet all combined to score 14.9 points and 5.1 WS.

While most of them excel at defense and hustle, their scoring leaves a lot to be desired. Don't bank on Lucas Noguiera (3.5 PPG, 4.4 WS) to improve much either.

Count on the Raptors to win this game but don't count on them to cover the spread. A good bet would be to tease the spread to single digits or to wait on the money line and parlay them with another favourite. Canadians have access to online sportsbooks, which offer a comprehensive library of NBA betting options complete with props, which allow adjustment of the spread.

Also, take advantage of the signup bonus.

My Team's Next MatchToronto Raptors

Category : MLB

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