A pair of Eastern Conference teams lock up in the nation’s capital on the NBA hardwood. The Toronto Raptors strike out on the road for the first time this season as they travel to face the Washington Wizards Saturday night. Toronto was in action at home Friday night as they hosted the Celtics in an Atlantic Division showdown. Washington came up a 113-112 loser at home to Miami in their regular season opener Thursday night. The Raptors lead the all-time regular season series 48-37 though the teams split four meetings last season. Toronto took a 102-95 win here in the last matchup on March 2. The Raptors also got the best of the Wizards in the postseason last year, winning their first round series four games to two.
Toronto Raptors Play Second Game of Back to Back on the Road
Toronto was in action on Friday night against Boston in an early season clash of the two favorites in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors now have to go on the road to face Washington and play their third game in four nights. Toronto was one of the league’s better teams when it came to playing in these situations last season. The Raptors were 9-5 in the second game of back to backs last season and saw their offense improve from their season mark of 111.7 points a game to 112.5 per game in those contests. There was a slight defensive letdown as they gave up 105.2 points per game in the second game of a back to back situation compared to their season average of 103.9 points per contest. Toronto was 22-19 ATS on the road in the regular season last year: the over was also a slight favorite in road games, going 22-19.
Papa Miles, Freddy & Coach checking in after shootaround.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 19, 2018
The Raptors had a decent shooting night as they hit 48.9 percent from the field in the contest. Toronto drained 14 of 33 three point attempts in the game while struggling to a 12 of 20 performance at the free throw line. The Raptors lost the rebounding battle 49-43 but took advantage of 16 Cleveland turnovers, which led to 16 points. Toronto also controlled the points in the paint battle by a 56-40 margin. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 27 points and eight assists in the victory. Kawhi Leonard put up 24 points and 12 rebounds in his team debut while Fred VanVleet had 14 points off the bench. Pascal Siakam added 13 points while Danny Green contributed 11 in his first game with the team. Serge Ibaka had a solid outing with nine points, seven boards and three blocks off the bench. OG Anunoby is questionable after being poked in the eye Wednesday while Delon Wright missed the opener with a strained thigh muscle. Coach Nick Nurse expected Anunoby to be “fine” while Wright was ruled out of Friday’s contest.
Washington Wizards try to Even Record After Last Second Loss
Washington had their chances to pick up a win in their season opener but let them slip through their fingers as they ended up with a bitter last-second loss to the team that beat them by one game for the Southeast Division crown a season ago. The Wizards now have to try and pick themselves up off the floor and get ready for the team that finished last season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Washington does have the added motivation of knowing it was the Raptors that knocked them out of the playoffs last year but can they answer the bell after being knocked off in the opener? The Wizards were 17-23-1 ATS at home last season and the over was a .500 bet at 20-20-1. Washington failed to cover in the opener while going over the total.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) October 19, 2018
The Wizards led by one at the half and by four after three quarters but couldn’t hold on to the edge. Washington gave up an offensive rebound score with 0.2 seconds left to turn their potential season opening win into a pool of misery. The Wizards shot 46.9 percent from the field but hurt themselves by going seven of 26 from beyond the arc. In addition, Washington missed 10 of their 39 free throw attempts, which are always magnified in close games, and was beaten 55-40 on the boards. John Wall led the Wizards with 26 points and nine assists in the loss. Bradley Beal contributed 20 points, Jeff Green finished with 17 in his team debut and Markieff Morris chipped in 11. The Wizards missed Dwight Howard, who missed the game with a sore buttocks: he’s questionable for this contest.
- Wizards are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall
- Wizards are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference
- Raptors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- Raptors are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Saturday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I thought the Wizards would beat the Heat as they were the team coming off an off day, at home, while the opposition was playing the second game of a back to back and had to fly in for the game. As we saw, that didn’t pan out as Miami stole the win in the final second. Toronto is a better team than Miami is and they were good in the second game of back to back situations last season. The Raptors have the depth and the talent to deal with situations like this. Toronto takes care of business, especially if Howard can’t go as the Ian Mahinmi/Jason Smith combination would get eaten alive by Valanciunas.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors +1
Full-Game Total Pick
Toronto is going to have a physical game Friday against Boston as the Celtics make you grind and work for everything you get on the offensive end of the floor. That might slow the Raptors a little bit and make them a bit more tentative in the early going of the game. The last thing that Washington wants to do is let Toronto get off and running to set up easy buckets in transition situations. The Wizards are going to have to be better on the glass than they were against Miami. Howard’s status is worth monitoring as he’s easily the best big man on the Washington roster, if/when he’s healthy enough to play.
The under is 9-2 in the Raptors last 11 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400, 8-2 in their last 10 vs. a team with a losing straight up record and 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Washington saw the under go 11-4 in their last 15 on one day of rest. Toronto will get their offense going compared to their contest against the Celtics but this one falls under the total.
Prediction: Under 216.5
Half-Time Side Pick
Toronto put together a solid enough offensive performance as they downed the Celtics 113-101 at home Friday night. The Raptors put things together in the second half as they erased a five point halftime deficit. Washington showed an inability to put away a tired team in their opener as Miami came back to win in the final second. Until the Wizards play a full 48 minutes, it’s tough to back them. The Raptors get the edge at the half as they get things going offensively with Leonard setting the tone.
Prediction: Toronto Raptors Pick ‘Em (-110)
Half-Time Total Bet
Toronto had their struggles against Boston in the first half as they were held to 49 points. Washington is an effective offensive unit but they need to develop secondary scoring options beyond Wall, Beal and potentially Green. Porter Jr. has to be better than he was in the opener and the Wizards need to get Howard in the lineup sooner rather than later as Mahinmi clearly doesn’t offer much offensively. This one stays under the number at the half.
Prediction: Under 111