Toronto Raptors at OKC Thunder Point Spread: Odds, Prediction
Will Thunder Continue Dominance Over Raptors?
Yes, because the Thunder trend up while the Raptors feel fatigued.
After speaking out against the NBA for another Christmas Day lineup without Toronto, the Raptors travelled to Dallas and lost to the worst team in the western conference. Confounding defeats against the Clippers and Mavericks have interrupted a terrific end to 2017, with the Raptors earning a 12-2 record over the past month.
Oklahoma City’s burst out of western basement with Russell Westbrook igniting the team to a five-game win streak and a record of 11-3 in December. If the Thunder’s three superstars continue to play well together, OKC will become a legitimate concern for the Warriors and the rest of the NBA.
Raptors Betting Picks:
NBA Odds Courtesy Of Sports Interaction
Point Spread – Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5 (-110)
Straight Up Moneyline – Thunder -165
Over/Under Totals – Over 209.5 (-110)
Toronto Raptors Betting Trends Against Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Different In December
The Thunder started to mesh when the calendar turned to December, which was much later than most basketball observers expected. At the end of November, the Thunder were 8-12. A Christmas win against the Houston Rockets lifted Oklahoma to a 19-15 record. A triple overtime win against Philly, an OT victory against the Grizzlies and a one-point victory against the Nuggets seems to galvanize OKC, leading to their current five-game win streak.
Toronto’s Traditional Holiday Slump
There’s no explaining certain patterns that teams establish, such as the mini-slump that the Raptors tend to encounter around the Christmas holidays. In 2014-15, Toronto lost four in a row and seven of nine; in 2015-16 the Raps lost a couple of blowouts to the Bulls and Cavaliers during a 3-5 slide, and last year kicked off with five losses in seven games, along with a five-game losing streak in late January. The Raptors holiday tradition may have started with a disappointing loss against the Mavericks yesterday.
Russ Sparked Thunder’s Big Three
A one-point win against the Nuggets started the Thunder’s five-game win streak, with Westbrook scoring 38 points, six assists and nine rebounds to seal the deal. Since then, each member of OKC’s big three contributes consistently, pitching in at least 60 points per game over the last four matches. Against the Rockets, George had 24 points, Westbrook scored 31, and Anthony earned 20 on 12 field goal attempts. If this trio continues to produce evenly and efficiently, they’ll start to climb towards the top of the western conference soon.
Thunder vs Raptors: Defensive Battle?
Perhaps more concerning would be the Oklahoma City Thunder’s superb defensive numbers throughout the season. While the offense only recently came to life, Oklahoma City’s defense was mostly holding the fort. The Thunder boast an impressive 104.0 defensive rating, which is fourth best in the NBA. Toronto features the sixth best defense in the association with a terrific 104.3 defensive rating. Despite the litany of offensive stars competing at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, there’s a slight chance this turns into a defensive grudge match.
NBA Give Raptors Schedule Loss For Christmas
There’s no getting around the fact that pro athletes need an appropriate amount of time to rest between games. The Raptors will make the trip to America’s heartland less than 24 hours after experiencing a letdown against the Dallas Mavericks.
Back-to-back road games on consecutive evenings represents a significant challenge for NBA teams, greatly reducing the odds of a victory for the travelling squad. OKC will enjoy a notable rest advantage, especially after relaxing at home for Christmas with a key win against Houston.
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