Raptors Report! Toronto Will Take Out Frustrations on Bulls
Raptors are Sound Bets to Emphatically Cover against Chicago
The Raptors had a flat performance on Sunday, their first game back in Toronto following a tough six-game West coast road trip and money's on coach Casey lighting a fire up the whole team's behind. The Raptors will go to town against the NBA's worst offensive team.
Chicago is ranked 30th in offensive rating (91.7), effective field goal percentage (45.4 per cent), and true shooting percentage (48.7 per cent). They also rank in the bottom-five in net rating (-9.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.26). Thanks to a myriad of injuries, the Bulls have no true offensive threat. It speaks volumes that Robin Lopez is their third-best scorer.
Minus-11 seems kind for a much better Raptors team but oddsmakers witnessed how inconsistent this team can be. At their best, the Raptors will blow the Bulls out and cover the spread easily but if they again come out flat, expect the Bulls to hang around. The Raptors are significantly better on offense but the Bulls are actually a top-six defensive team (101.0 defensive rating).
The Raptors soundly covered the 12-point spread last time and they should do so again. The Bulls have no scoring help from the bench and this is where Raptors' backups should stack their stats like they did the first time. Expect the likes of Pascal Siakam (9.1 points per game), C.J. Miles (8.6), and Delon Wright (8.0) to do better than their season averages as Toronto routs Chicago for the second time this season.
For team totals, oddsmakers set the line at 199.5, which sounds like a reasonable line considering how offensively-challenged Chicago is but the bet to make here is over. The two combined to score 217 in the previous game and there should be plenty of garbage time here so expect both teams to fill up buckets with little defense towards the end.
Raptors Lose to Wizards on First Game Back Home
Toronto was probably too happy to be home they forgot the Wizards were in town as they dropped their first game home game 107-96. It was all Washington from start to end as the Raptors failed to register a lead throughout the whole game and only managed 17 points in the first. Toronto shot 46.3 per cent overall but only 20.8 per cent from downtown further dropping their dead-last three-point percentage to 30.3 per cent.
DeRozan led all Raptors with 26 points despite only shooting 38.1 per cent. He was also tied with fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry for a team-worst -17. Lowry finished with two points and missed all four of his field goal attempts. Lowry continues to play horribly and it's a wonder if he's become complacent since signing the $100 million extension in the summer. The silver lining means he can't get any worse. Like their loss to the Nuggets, this is another aberration.
The Raptors couldn't overcome a horrible start and the Wizards just kept exchanging buckets from the second period onwards. Expect a better effort from the Raptors next time.
Toronto Raptors' 2017-18 Season Outlook
The Raptors are now 5-4 and 6-3 against the spread. They remain tied for second in the Atlantic Division but the distance between them and the first-place Boston Celtics grows further as the Celtics have won eight straight. The Raptors are tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference and have plenty of room for growth as they approach the midseason.
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