The 30-16 San Antonio Spurs visit the 30-13 Toronto Raptors today in a collision of two of the NBA’s most consistent franchises (7 p.m. ET Friday).
The Raptors look like a lock to make the playoffs for the fifth straight year, which would extend a franchise record streak. San Antonio, meanwhile, is the NBA’s model of consistent success and has made the playoffs in 27 of the last 28 seasons.
Toronto is the better team this year, though, with a superior record and point differential. The Raptors will be at home today and field a healthier roster than their Western Conference opponent. The Spurs will be missing Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay and Manu Ginobili and have a couple of other banged up players.
How will the matchup play out? We will analyze this basketball game and take stab at how the betting lines might play out, selecting our picks and Spurs vs Raptors predictions.
Will Kyle Lowry Play Better Against the Spurs This Time Around?
Lowry, the Raptors’ All-Star point guard, had his second-lowest scoring total of the season (eight points) against the Spurs in October. If you don’t count the game in which he was ejected and played just 12 minutes, it’s his lowest scoring game of the campaign.
San Antonio’s perimeter defenders, especially Dejounte Murray, did an excellent job of preventing Lowry from getting any penetration in the first matchup.
Lowry is, unfortunately, still dealing with the effects of a tailbone injury. However, he has recovered nicely after a rough start to the season and is unlikely to play as bad as he did in the first matchup. Can Murray and the Spurs’ other point guards, who are not good defenders, limit Lowry again?
Does the Spurs’ Bench Have the Length and Athleticism to Deal With the Raptors’ Bench?
San Antonio’s bench is among the best in the league every year. However, with all the team’s injuries to key players right now, the reserve unit is considerably weaker.
Toronto’s bench has been great all year. Players like Delon Wright, Norm Powell, C.J. Miles, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Lucas Nogueira make the Raptors a physically imposing team to deal with off the pine. They have a lot of size and explosiveness to make things difficult for opponents on both ends of the floor.
San Antonio loses a lot of size and athleticism on the wing with key reserves Manu Ginobili and Rudy Gay out with injuries. Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans and Joffrey Lauvergne will be the core of the Spurs bench unit against Toronto.
On paper, Toronto’s bench has a big edge here. However, the Spurs often find ways to execute above their talent level. Can they do it again and win our favour with our concluding betting predictions?
How Will the Three-Point Battle Go?
The Raptors have started to ride the three-point wave after resisting it for the last couple years. Toronto is eighth in three-point attempts per game after finishing no higher than 19th in its last two seasons.
Even though the Raptors’ percentage is just 35.1, which is 26th in the NBA, that is still efficient offense. Toronto’s success rate goes up to 36.2 percent at home. San Antonio, meanwhile, makes 37.2 percent from downtown, but it has been poor shooting the ball on the road (34.3 percent) and makes among the fewest shots from behind the arc in the NBA.
To win this game, the Spurs need to have some sort of outside game to keep up with the Raptors’ vaunted offense.
Our Preview’s San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors Betting Picks & Predictions
Given the Raptors’ propensity for domination at home, where they have a 16-3 record, and the Spurs’ futility on the road (11-14 record), this is pretty clearly a game that the Raptors should win.
San Antonio has also been playing mostly average to below average teams as of late, and playing the Raptors could be a bit of a shock. So in a bid to get the better of our top 10 rated USA sports betting sites, here are our preview’s predictions:
- Toronto is 5.5-point favorite in this game with all the main bookies except one. Even if this game is very close throughout, the Raptors’ elite free throw shooting at the end of the game could push the margin past five points. This preview recommends taking the Raptors -5pts @ -115 with Bookmaker.
- Spurs road games tend to be low-scoring affairs (average of 194.8 points total), while Raptors home games are somewhat high-scoring (216.9 points total, on average). The midpoint of those games is a total of about 206, which is a reasonable guess for this game. We think it’ll end even lower than that. Bet on the under 207pts @ -115 with Bovada. Other sportsbooks have their over/under for the total points in the game at a lower level.
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.