Toronto Raptors (34-29) +9, 223 at Golden State Warriors (39-23), 10:30 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com
The Golden State Warriors are 5 games better than the Toronto Raptors so far this season. But while Toronto seems fairly secure in its pursuit of a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, Golden State is on the edge in the Western Conference standings. Thus is the situation as these two teams hook up Wednesday night in Oakland.
NBA Sportsbooks list the Warriors as nine-point home chalk for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 223. Golden State is also posted at right around -500 on various Vegas moneylines, with Toronto getting +375 as road underdogs.
The Raptors lost in LA to the Lakers Tuesday night 117-108, but covered the spread as 13-point road dogs. It was Toronto’s fifth loss in their last seven games, a stretch that coincides with the knee injury suffered by star forward Chris Bosh (23 points, nine rebounds a game this season). And Bosh will be out of action Wednesday night. This season, the Raptors are 4-7 both straight up and against the spread when Bosh is on the sidelines.
Going into Wednesday’s play, Toronto is in second place in the Atlantic Division, a distant 16 games behind the first-place Boston Celtics. But the Raptors are also in fifth place in the East, 2 games behind fourth-place Cleveland and three games ahead of sixth-place Washington.
Meanwhile, Golden State won at Orlando Saturday 104-95, its sixth win over its last seven games. So heading into Wednesday’s game, the Warriors are in third place in the Pacific Division, five games back of the first-place Lakers. But more importantly, Golden State owns the eighth and final Western Conference playoff slot, trailing seventh-place Dallas by a game and leading ninth-place Denver by 2 games.
In the first and only meeting thus far this season between these two teams, the Warriors won in Toronto 106-100 Nov. 18. Golden State trailed 88-80 going into the fourth quarter in that game, but rallied to win outright as six-point road dogs.
Last season, these two non-conference foes split their two games. So over the course of the last three meetings in the series between these two teams, the Warriors are 2-1 both straight up and against the spread. Also, the o/u is 1-2 in those last three meetings, which have averaged 217 total points.
This season, Toronto is 34-28 against the spread, 15-16 straight up and 16-15 vs. the numbers on the road.
Meanwhile, GS is 27-35 ATS this season, 21-10 SU but only 11-20 vs. the numbers at home.
Statistically speaking, the Raptors rank 11th in the league in point differential at +3.8 per game, the Warriors 12th at +3.1.
Toronto is shooting 47% from the field as a team this season, a league-leading 41% from beyond the arc and 81%, 2nd in the league, from the free-throw line.
At the other end of the court, Golden State is shooting 46% from the floor, 35% from long range and 75% from the stripe.
Also, the Raptors are allowing opponents to shoot 45.5% from the floor, the Warriors 46%. And while Toronto ranks 21st in the league in rebounding at -1.4 boards per game, Golden State ranks dead last at -4.9.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks the Raptors 11th at 93.0, the Warriors 12th at 92.3. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.3.
The o/u is 35-27 in Toronto games this season, which are averaging 197 total points, while the totals are 35-25 in Golden State games, which are averaging 218 points.
Zman’s Pick: The Raptors are getting no respect because Bosh is out tonight. Furthermore, G.S. isn’t the type of team that blows teams out. In fact, often times they play down to their opponents level. Toronto is a good shooting team. Don’t laugh, but they could even win this game straight up without Bosh although we’re not going to predict that. Take the +9 and enjoy what should be an easy cover.