The Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards are often overlooked in any conversation about true Eastern challengers, or get an honorable mention for their effort. The reason for this partially lies in the size of their markets. On Sunday, they’ll face each other for the rights of claiming the top three place in the conference standings. The national camera will not be present, of course – and when it comes to betting, as far from the public eye, the better for us.
Wizards at Raptors
Spread: Toronto Raptors -4.5 (-110) at BetDSI Sportsbook
Total: o/u 211.5 points (-110)
The Wizards comeback attempt falls short
Two nights after not playing in one quarter against Miami, the Washington Wizards decided not to show up for an entire half. They scored just 29 points at home in the first half and dug themselves a hole too large to come out of.
For most of the first half, the Miami Heat maintained doubling the Wizards output, peaking at 50-25 lead moments before the break. John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter went 0-for-8 in the first quarter. The Wizards shot 28.6 percent from the field in the first half and missed their first 16 three-point tries in the most futile offensive night of the season. Wall didn’t even make a basket until he hit a 3-pointer with five minutes to go and finished with 3-of-12 shooting for 8 points and 8 assists. Beal shook of terrible first half and started hitting threes in the second, helping the Wizards make a run, but he was the lone gunner. He scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. The bench guys only contributed with 24 total points, 9 of which came from an unlikely source of Jodie Meeks. As a team, the Wizards had just 7 fast break points and just 28 points in the paint, settling for jumpers too much. Their defense pulled them back to the game, but they couldn’t do much against lively Whiteside and point-forward James Johnson. It was a wasted opportunity to enter a tough stretch in the schedule on a roll.
The Wizards face an injury challenge as they open up a three-game road trip, traveling to Canada first. Since the last time they’ve won there, they only visited Miami and played 5 games in D.C. Now, Washington will only be a pit-stop for the Wizards – they play 12 games in the next 22 days, 10 of which on the road. They might have to do some of those game with the service of John Wall, as the latest report unveils some reason behind his poor display – his knee has been troubling him for the past week or so, and he might opt out to sit this game, if not more.
Place: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario
Date/Time: Sunday, November 19th, 2017. 6:00 PM ET
TV Coverage: Sportsnet One
The Raptors thrash NY 107-84
Good wins in Houston and New Orleans were crowned by taking care of some Eastern business when the Toronto Raptors outclassed the Knicks to cruise to a 107-84 victory on Friday night.
Spot starters OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam provided the kind of athletic, multi-faceted defense the Raptors needed, moving from the bench to the starting lineup without any significant change in the Raptors’ fortunes. In fact, one could argue that the Raptors game improved at the point Norman Powell went down with a hip pointer and Anunoby was inserted. Missing Ibaka is probably not great for the long term, but the energetic and quick forwards (including Nogueira) defended Knicks star Porzingis as well as anyone. While it helped immensely that the all-star duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 44 points and 17 assists, it was the ability of Casey to plumb the depths of the team’s depth that was the difference. The Knicks are a one-man show and once he couldn’t get going, the Raptors win was in the books. On the other hand, the Raptors are getting more contribution from the 9th, the 10th or the 11th man. C.J. Miles, an afterthought early on this season, went on to hit 12-of-23 three-point attempts in three road games preceding the Knicks game, and hit another 2-of-4 last night. Reserve point guard VanVleet is playing some stingy defense that is earning him more minutes than before. Even Poeltl had a nice going against NY, scoring 8 points in 11 minutes during which the Raptors were +15.
Ibaka missed the last game due to swelling in his left knee and his availability for Sunday’s game against the Wizards is unknown. Powell didn’t play in the last three, and is also questionable to dress.
Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors Game Trends & Prediction
The Washington Wizards could not cover at home. Again. They are 8-7 against the spread overall, but it’s hiding a 3-6 home record. Perhaps the road will be kind to their backers after all, as the Wizards have managed to get 5-1 record while traveling. The under against Miami, ugly as it was, turned to profit, like it usually does. The Wizards are 5-10 to start this season, and 1-5 on the road. Seven consecutive games have stayed below the set line, including (and starting with) previous time they’ve paid their next rivals a visit.
The Raptors are on a roll, cashing in three times in a row after a disappointing stretch during they’ve gone 0-4 against the spread. We the North are playing better and it’s good to be on their bandwagon, at least for the moment. Toronto is 9-6 ATS overall, but a plain 3-3 at home, failing to take advantage of their fans support.
Admi-Rank: The loss to Miami, as bad as it looked, snapped a five-game winning streak for the Wizards, so it’s not hurting them more than keeping the balance. The Raptors are showing no sign of slowing down, with few impressive wins that had them propelled to the second-best team in the Conference.
The Wizards are perfect against teams that have over .500, going 3-0, as they still can’t heal the ailment of playing down to the opposition. However, it’s also a signal on how weak of a schedule they played thus far. Even with some quality wins, they failed to establish themselves as an Eastern power, and this next period smells trouble. Time to fade them, if the books allow us to do so. Toronto is certainly a good spot to do so. The Raptors will be motivated to make up for the previous loss, during which they never led.
I don’t expect Wall to be ready for this game, which is why I will go with the Raptors to cover the spread. Also, go with the over.
My Pick: Raptors -4.5 (-110)
Total: over 211.5 points (-110)
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