Two good teams will face off when the Raptors visit the Wizards this week. The Wizards are 3-0 at home while the Raptors are 3-0 on the road, so who has the edge in this one? Let’s find out.
Wizards Betting Preview:
The Washington Wizards finally got things right. After seasons of trying to force the issue, they finally gave up on hunting stars and eventually built a solid team around Beal with depth. That approach has primarily translated on the court, where the team is putting up outstanding performances, currently holding a 5-2 record. Whether that pace is sustainable for the Wizards remains to be seen, but everyone in the community seems to be engaged with the current roster much more than before.
The Wizards are one of the better offensive teams in the league, ranking inside the top 10. That was largely expected as they were an offensive powerhouse last year as well, and with a talented scorer like Beal, it’s no surprise. They are still missing Hachimura, so that’s something to note as well. After being one of the worst defensive teams last season, the Wizards are an average defensive team right now, making all the difference in the standings. They will need some of that defense when the Raptors come to town.
Raptors Betting Preview:
The Toronto Raptors will arrive in D.C. with a 5-3 record, but 3 of those five wins came on the road. The team is playing better than last year despite going through many changes, but that’s mostly related to them being back in Canada. How far can the Raptors go remains to be seen, but there is enough talent to be a playoff team in the East, especially if they keep winning at home. Pascal Siakam is still out, and after he returns, the team should be in even better shape.
So far, Scottie Barnes has been excellent for them, leading the team in scoring, which is more than they hoped to get from him at this point of his career. Other players will need to step up, but having a 3-0 record on the road is no joke. That’s mostly to them being the 4th best defense in the league right now and defense travels. They are improving offensively and are not one of the worst teams in the league right now, which is a positive. They will need scoring if they want to keep up with the Wizards.
Scottie Barnes – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Scottie Barnes is the best scorer for the Raptors so far in the season, which is surprising, but considering Siakiam is out, it’s understandable. The rookie has a lot of room to operate, and it’s translating to points. The job of stopping him will fall to KCP, a capable defender who should have the advantage of being a veteran in the league. If KCP can shut down Barnes, it’s hard to see where points will come for Toronto, especially on the road.
Toronto defense – Wizards offense
This matchup will determine who will win the game. The Raptors have one of the league’s best defenses, which is closely related to their tremendous length on the court. They are simply everywhere. Washington has some solid shooting that can hurt the Raptors, but so far, it’s been hit and miss, and you can’t really rely on that. If Toronto is able to keep this game low-scoring, they will have the advantage.
Wizards – Raptors betting lines
As expected, the Wizards are favored at home by 3 points. It’s only logical because they have been playing relatively well and the crowd is once again engaged in Washington. The points are interesting as the line is set at 218, which seems a bit high for me. The under might be something worth looking at.
Free Betting Pick
The Wizards are favored at home, and that seems right. The line is not set too high at -3, indicating that these teams are quite similar. Washington should be the favorite at home, but there are a couple of things worth noting before you commit to that. The Raptors are 3-0 on the road, they are on a 4-game winning streak, and they are doing most of that with their stellar defense.
The Wizards should win this, but with the points set at 218, I think I would prefer the under in this match. The Raptors are allowing less than 100 points so far this year, and despite Beal, I think they can keep this match close. Their chances certainly rise in a low-scoring game compared to a high-scoring one, which suits the under well.