Raptors Odds Sky High After Slow Start in 2021
Raptors Odds Sky High After Slow Start in 2021: The Toronto Raptors are off to one of their worst starts in recent memory, going 7-11 in their first 18 games of the season. Although the Raptors have clearly shown they are not the same team that captured the NBA championship two years ago, the fact still remains. If this team can get into the playoffs, they will be a dangerous out for a lot of teams with high expectations.
Toronto Raptors Betting Stats
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More Than A Feeling
The Toronto Raptors proved they were more than just Kawhi Leonard in their post-championship winning 2019-2020 season. Kawhi left for the LA Clippers in the offseason, which left most of the pundits to project a Raptors decline, which quite honestly didn’t occur. Toronto still put forth a team worthy of being an Eastern Conference and NBA title contender this past season.
The Raptors had a 53-19 SU, 41-30-1 ATS record during the pandemic shortened regular season and finishing with the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto wound up being eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in the Orlando bubble following a game-seven series defeat against the Boston Celtics, but this was still an overall successful season and one that was a better year than many anticipated for the Raptors going into the season. Even without Kawhi Leonard, this team maintained their strong team defensive principles as Toronto finished the season 2nd in the NBA in points per game allowed and 2nd in overall defensive efficiency in the league.
Despite not being able to elevate in the playoffs, Pascal Siakam still had a great overall season as the new “go-to” guy for the Raptors. At the same time, the backcourt tandem of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet played fantastic at both ends of the court throughout the season. Toronto also had one of the deeper and more productive benches in the NBA with plenty of quality depth and options for Nick Nurse.
Even after falling short of the NBA Finals, the Raptors showed even without Kawhi Leonard; this was a team where the sum of their parts was still formidable. Now, the question becomes whether the Raptors can keep this core and nucleus together heading into next season as they try to maintain their status as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Jurassic Park No More
A massive concern for the Toronto Raptors during their existence in the NBA has been their ability to attract quality free agents. The awkward travel, location, weather, and taxes have been the main obstacles that have kept certain players from considering Toronto as a viable destination. However, that may be about to change as the Raptors will be forced to play their home games in Tampa, Florida, for atleast the beginning of their season.
The Raptors are also among a few teams connected to this year’s league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who is still deciding whether he stays in Milwaukee or goes to another team. Toronto is in the mix for Antetokounmpo because of the quality organization they have, his close relationship with Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
The biggest cap hit contract for the Raptors right now is Pascal Siakam’s $31 million deal, and they still have Kyle Lowry under contract. The Raptors will have to consider Norman Powell’s player option. As well as OG Anunoby, who had a breakout performance for the Raptors in the playoffs, will soon be requiring a pay upgrade in the not too distant future with his next contract.
Raptors and Freddy Going Steady
In mid-November, Fred VanVleet re-signed with the Raptors for a 4-year contract worth 85 million dollars. Some would say that this puts the Raptors out of Giannis’s running, but that’s not exactly the case. Regardless, nobody knows besides the Raptors brass whether or not the Raptors will still want to pursue Giannis, nor whether those feelings are reciprocated. There are also other teams looking to potentially sign the Greek Freak and the possibility that he stays put in Milwaukee and re-signs with the Bucks, which can’t be ruled out either. Either way, for the Raptors to retain Fred VanVleet, a player that has transformed his career as a member of the Toronto Raptors from an undrafted free agent to one of the better shooting guards in the NBA, sets them in the right direction long term.
VanVleet can shoot the 3, he plays excellent defense, he doesn’t mind rebounding the ball for an undersized guard, and his tough, scrappy, competitive demeanor on the court is what helps make a winning team possible. His value has skyrocketed up and gone through the roof, and it will be up to the Raptors to find the pieces to build around the young core of VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anounoby.
Raptors Odds to Win 2021 NBA Championship
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The Toronto Raptors showed they could be a strong upper echelon Eastern Conference team without Kawhi Leonard. However, I’m not sure they were able to prove they are still a team that remains firmly in that NBA title contender discussion. As a result, I would not be that interested in the Raptors from a futures perspective. Toronto is currently +2000 to win the NBA title at Fanduel sportsbook.
The Raptors took advantage of a betting marketplace that downgraded them significantly going into last season after losing Kawhi. The result was an undervalued squad, which led to that strong 41-30 ATS season. However, it may be difficult for Toronto to duplicate that point spread success as NBA oddsmakers are likely to give the Raptors more respect and a stronger power rating going into next season after seeing how much of a quality team they still were last season, finishing as the #2 seed in the conference.
I’ll project the Raptors will have a closer to .500 ATS record next season. Toronto was 36-35 O/U last season. Even with a few key defensive pieces like Ibaka and Gasol leaving, the team’s style of play under head coach Nick Nurse is likely not going to change, so I anticipate the Raptors being a team that will once again have a healthy mix of games that go over the total and games that stay under the total from a game to game standpoint.
FAQ: Toronto Raptors 2021 Odds
Who are the Odds on Favorite to Win the 2021 NBA Championship?
One month into the season, the LA Lakers are +240 favorites to win the 2021 NBA Championship.
What are the Raptors Odds to win the NBA Championship?
One month into the season, the Toronto Raptors are a 60-1 long shot to win the NBA championship.
Why do the Toronto Raptors have to play in Tampa Bay?
Due to cross-bored travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian Government. The Toronto Raptors are forced to play their regular-season games in the United States and chose the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida as their home arena.