NBA Basketball is finally back in Canada, and the Scotiabank Arena atmosphere has been missed. The Raptors welcome the Magic in what should be an interesting matchup between two teams with different goals.
Raptors Betting Preview:
The Raptors entered this season with a sense of relief being finally back home. Last year was one to forget in Tampa, and the comfort of Toronto should see them perform better than their roster might have you believe they would perform. So far, it’s been a mixed bag, but that could change as the Orlando Magic come to town. Pascal Siakam will be out for this game, so that’s something to keep an eye on, but even without Siakam, the Raptors have been fairly decent so far this season.
Most of that is coming from the defensive side as they are currently the 4th best defense in the league, which is very good. The Raptors have a lot of length on their roster, making breaking down their defense a bit of a struggle, especially for offensively challenged teams. On offense, they have been about what you’d expect, ranking 27th overall. When Siakam returns, that should increase and level out to a middle of the pack team.
Magic Betting Preview:
The Orlando Magic might be the worst team in the league; at least, that is where most people had them going into this season. However, after a few matches, we need to confirm that it’s not as bad as it might have looked before the season. They already have a win under their belt, and that came in Madison against New York. Talk about the Knicks all you want, but that’s a tough place to play any given night.
The team is playing hard, which is why they rank better in defense than offense. Offensively they are just below the Raptors at 28, which is understandable considering the lack of talent. Defensively, which for most teams comes down to effort, they are 21st, which is better than what you would normally expect from one of the worst teams in the league.
Cole Anthony – Fred VanVleet
The point guards for their respective teams will be extremely important in this matchup. It’s no surprise that Cole Anthony is one of the key players for the Magic. He plays hard every night and gives his all. That is enough to make him a standout in a sea of players that are not there yet. He will have a very tough task in guarding VanVleet. The point guard became the focal point of Toronto in many different ways after Lowry got traded, and his play has been becoming better with every match.
He is a very committed defender, so if he can keep Anthony out of this game, it’s hard to see how he will get any offense going for the Magic. Suggs is still finding his way, Bamba won’t do it, Wendell Carter Jr. can’t do it, and Wagner is not good enough. So taking Anthony out of the game will be paramount for the Raptors.
Raptors Defense – Magic Offense
When you have one of the better defenses in the league going against one of the worst offenses, you usually like the defense much more. The only thing that can undermine that clear advantage is a ridiculous shooting night from the opposing team or a lack of effort. Considering the culture in Toronto, it’s hard seeing them underestimate the Magic, and I think if they bring it all, this should be a rather one-sided affair. Playing at home in Toronto should aid them in that effort.
Raptors – Magic – betting lines
The Raptors are favored by eight at home, and that is quite high. When you put things into perspective, though, it seems relatively accurate. Every matchup advantage goes to the Raptors, and that is why the number is what it is.
The points are set at 210, which is about right. The Raptors are expected to score over 100 points while the Magic might struggle to hit that mark.
Free Betting Pick
As noted above, the Raptors are 8 points favorite at home and that, while relatively high, is understandable when you look at the matchup up close. They are at home, and they have always been an excellent home team regardless of who played for the team. They have a much more talented roster that is actually playing better as a unit right now. They play very good defense, and the numbers seem accurate when you look at all of that. I would have loved a 5,5 or a 6,5, but it is what it is. If you bet anything takes the Raptors for the blowout win, that’s the most likely outcome.
When looking at the points, the total is set at 210. I would have loved a bigger number, but it’s what it is because a high-scoring affair is not expected. The Magic might fail to hit the 100 mark, and the under is just more likely. If the Raptors have a hot shooting night, they might push it over this mark, but I prefer the Raptors as a team to win big rather than keep the under.