San Antonio Spurs vs. Toronto Raptors Pick
San Antonio Spurs (33-26 SU, 31-27-1 ATS) vs. Toronto Raptors (43-16 SU, 26-33 ATS)
When: Friday, February 22nd, 2019 – 7:00 PM ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SA +7.5 / TOR -7.5 (Intertops Sportsbook)
Power Rankings: Toronto -10
Takeaways From San Antonio and Toronto’s Most Recent Games
The Spurs snapped a four-game losing streak to enter into the All-Star break when they were able to edge out the Memphis Grizzlies in a 108-107 thriller in Memphis on February 12th. The Spurs closed as a seven-point favorite and thus were unable to cover. San Antonio has not produced a cover in eight consecutive games.
The Raptors headed into the All-Star break red-hot as they had won six games in a row capped off by their most recent 129-120 victory on February 13th at home against the Washington Wizards. The Raptors were unable to produce a cover as they were favored by 9.5 points against Washington. This was the third consecutive match that the Raptors have failed to cover.
How the Public is Betting the San Antonio-Toronto Game
At the moment, 56% of the consensus like the Spurs with the points here at the current spot. As a result of this lean by the public we have seen the market descend by half of a point downward to reflect early money on the Spurs who opened as an eight-point underdog.
The Raptors and Spurs met in January in San Antonio and the Spurs put together an impressive 125-107 win over visiting Toronto. The Spurs closed as a 3.5-point favorite and had no trouble fostering a cover in their dominant win against the Raptors.
Betting Note: Players have written in asking about Parlays. Are parlays a sucker bet in the NBA? Should we bother? The answer is it depends on the odds. The top tier parlay books pay at advantageous odds but that is if and only if those sportsbooks have lines that are on the better side of the market. You don’t want to bet the Raptors at -8 at Intertops when -7.5 is available elsewhere… just because you want to get them in a parlay bet!
There are no prominent injury concerns for either team heading into this match-up.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
For both teams involved in this cross-conference contest, this will be their first game back from the All-Star break so both clubs should be well-rested and rejuvenated. For Toronto, this is the first game of a four match home-stand that will see the Raptors at home until March 3rd. Contrarily, this is the first match of a three-game road trip for the Spurs that concludes in Brooklyn on Monday.
Can San Antonio’s Three-Point Shooting Game To Take It To Raptors?
The Spurs are the best team in the NBA when it comes to shooting the three-pointer. The Spurs hit a stellar 40.9% of their attempts from three-point range which makes them a potent threat to erupt when they get a hot hand from the beyond the arc. The question is whether the hostilities of playing in Toronto along will throw off the Spurs’ shooting game. From a defensive perspective, the Raptors are 11th in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage (34.7%) so it is safe to conclude that the Raptors won’t make it easy for San Antonio to dial up from down-town. San Antonio is also the best in the NBA in scoffing up free points from the charity stripe as they sit first in free throw percentage at 82.3%. Toronto sits 16th in the NBA in opponent free throw percentage (76.6%) so it appears that the Spurs have a good chance of taking advantage. Combined with the narrative that San Antonio commits less turnovers compared to Toronto, the Spurs will look to utilize these three advantages to keep this game competitive.
Will Toronto Take Advantage of San Antonio’s Pedestrian Defense?
The Spurs defense ranks 16th in the league in scoring as they give up 111.4 points per match. Moreover, San Antonio allows opponents to hit 47% of their attempts (23rd in the NBA). The question for Toronto is whether they can cash in. I like Toronto’s prospects in doing so as the Raptors’ offense sits sixth in the NBA in scoring (114.3 points per game). Toronto is also a top-ten team in terms of field goal percentage as the Raptors hit 47% of their attempts overall.
San Antonio is 5-0 ATS in its previous five meetings between the two sides which would explain why the public has leaned on them here as the underdog. For Over/Under players, the Over is 6-2 ATS in the previous eight matches that have taken place in Toronto.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Toronto -7.5
The good news here is that someone has to cover as one of these two team’s losing streak against the spread will come to an end. It’s a good spot to parlay my Thunder pick! Situationally that appears to be Toronto. According to some other betting sites, it is the Raptors that are significantly undervalued and that is how I will play this one as the number on Toronto warrants the play. The fact remains the Spurs own a ghastly road record this season at 11-19 SU and they are tasked with going up against a Toronto team that has been a stalwart on its own court the previous two seasons. In the “Great White North”, the Raptors stand at 24-5 SU and they will hone their fabled home court advantage to lay waste to the Spurs. I have the Raptors winning this one by at least double-digits. I urge takes to bet the Raptors with confidence and swallow the points.