Raptors Report! Toronto Goes 0 to 100 Real Quick in Mid-November
Toronto to Stay Hot Against the Knicks
The Raptors are one of the NBA's most popular teams for a good reason: they're exciting. And that's good in terms of entertainment but it doesn't make their fans and bettors comfortable. Heading into tonight's game with the Knicks, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is the Raptors are a shaky bet as home favourites with 2-3 against the spread (ATS) record.
The good news is they own the Knicks.
Toronto (-7.5) is 4-2 ATS in their last six games playing New York (+7.5) and is 5-1 straight-up (SU). New York has been a surprising team this year with an 8-6 record (9-5 ATS). Kristaps Porzingis has taken up the mantle as star player with Carmelo Anthony's departure averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game on 49.3 per cent shooting (40 per cent from three).
But even with "K-God's" epic performances, the Knicks have only gone 2-2 in their last four games and 1-3 on the road. It'll take more than a fat stat line from Porzingis to upend Toronto.
Only two games separate the Raptors and Knicks and a win by the Knicks will tie them with the Raptors. But statistically speaking, the Raptors couldn't be further than the Knicks. The Raptors are way ahead on offense. They rank significantly higher in offensive rating (110.2 vs 106.6), effective field goal percentage (54.9% vs 52.8%), and pace (101.01 vs 98.89). This means the Raps play a faster and more efficient game.
Toronto is also better on defense. They have a higher defensive rating (104.8 vs 106.4), opponent turnover percentage (16.3 vs 14.7), and surrender fewer points off of turnovers (17.2 vs 19.1). The one glaring area the Knicks do better in is interior defense thanks to Porzingis. They rank first in the league in opponents' points in the paint giving up only 37.6 per game while the Raptors are 22nd with 46.1.
This is Toronto's game to lose. The Raptors are 5-1 SU in its last six games in the ACC and are 4-2 against the Knicks overall. Bet the Raptors to cover the 7.5 spread or just bet them SU at -310.
Raptors Rediscovered Their Killer Instincts
Make that two big road games for the Raptors. Following their blowout win over the Rockets, the Raptors beat the Pelicans 125-116 on a back-to-back. Rookie OG Anunoby, the hero in the Houston game, only played 14 minutes but the big three of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 68 points, 26 rebounds, and 17 assists.
Lowry is finally hitting his midseason form and was just one assist short of a triple-double. It was the bench, however, who blew the game wide-open in the second and third led by C.J. Miles's 17 points. Miles was a +13, second-highest in the game next to Pascal Siakam's +14. Most impressively, the Raptors achieved the 50-40-90 shooting performance: 59.2 per cent from the field, 47.1 per cent from downtown, and 95 per cent from the charity stripe.
Safe to say, Toronto's three-point shooting woes are over, hitting 45.5 per cent of threes in their last three games after hitting only 31 per cent before that. If the Raptors keep this up, expect more impressive victories like this in the future.
Toronto Raptors 2017-18 Season Outlook
The Raptors just beat the spread two consecutive times moving their ATS record at 8-6 after dropping four straight games. At 9-5 overall, the Raptors are at fourth place in the Eastern Conference and are in second in the Atlantic Division. They have a two-game homestand against New York tonight then a rematch with Washington Sunday.
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