The 43-17 Toronto Raptors and 36-26 Washington Wizards are separated enough in the Eastern Conference standings that they probably won’t end up fighting against each other for playoff seeding this season.
However, their matchup today in Washington should be an entertaining one that could preview a second-round playoff matchup between the squads (8pm ET Friday on ESPN).
The top-seeded Raptors have been firing on all cylinders for a while now. They have a record of 32-10 since November 24 and have only lost one of those games by more than six points. Toronto has the star power from DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry as well as the depth to dominate most teams.
Washington has been revitalized by a knee injury to star point guard John Wall. The team is playing with better ball and player movement since he went down a month ago, and they have a 10-4 record since then.
These teams are rivals and are sure to give their best effort in this game. This preview will break down some major factors in this game. It will then choose its betting picks and Toronto Raptors vs Washington Wizards Predictions against the spread and the over/under odds available with the online USA sports betting sites.
Will Fatigue Be a Factor for the Wizards?
Washington is certainly the team with the tougher recent schedule in this matchup. The Wizards will be playing their sixth game in nine days, with all of those games coming against teams with a record of at least 28-34.
Toronto, meanwhile is playing its fourth game in nine days. None of the Raptors’ opponents were juggernauts, and the team won two of the games pretty easily.
So while the Wizards have home-court advantage in this game, there’s a chance it won’t matter much. Washington doesn’t have as much depth and could get tired near the end of the game, especially if Toronto pushes the pace a lot.
Can the Raptors Keep Up Their Hot Outside Shooting?
The Wizards are not a big outside shooting team. They rank 20th in the league in three-pointers made per game (9.8) and seventh in percentage (37.0). Combine that with the Raptors’ stingy three-point defense, and there’s a great chance that Washington doesn’t hit a ton of threes in this game.
Toronto has a slightly lower percentage from the outside (35.9), but it makes the seventh-most shots per game from downtown in the league (11.6). The squad has been even hotter recently: the Raptors have averaged 14.5 made threes in their last eight games on a 38.5 percent success rate.
If Toronto gets even remotely hot from downtown in this game, the Wizards are in major trouble. Washington must be very careful that the likes of C.J. Miles, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet don’t get open shots from behind the arc.
Will Kelly Oubre & Mike Scott Offer Enough Scoring to Match the Raptors’ Bench?
Without a question, Toronto has the best bench in the league. There’s a huge amount of talent and a wide variety of skills in the group of Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Jakob Poeltl and Norman Powell.
Washington doesn’t have nearly as good of a bench, and it doesn’t rely on its reserves very much. The Wizards rarely play lots of bench-heavy lineups. However, with the tough recent schedule for the team, the bench will need to step up significantly so the starters don’t have to carry a big load.
Oubre and Scott are the two top scorers on the Wizards’ bench, but they’ve both been a bit cold from the field in the last few weeks. Can they reverse that trend?
Our Preview’s Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards Betting Picks & Predictions
Toronto has the easier schedule leading into this game, and it is great at covering spreads. The Wizards have played well since John Wall went down, but there is a significant talent and depth disadvantage for Washington against Toronto when he isn’t playing.
So when it comes to our Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards predictions, expect Toronto to win by a decent margin, though it may not quite be double digits.
- The Raptors are a 3 or 3.5-point favorite. This preview suggests betting with Toronto -3pts @ -110 with Bookmaker, 5Dimes, or MyBookie.
- Toronto will push the pace to make Washington tired and the Wizards will have no chance but to speed up the game when they fall behind. Our pick on the total points is to bet the over 216.5pts @ -110 with Bookmaker or 5Dimes.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.