Online sportsbooks have made it clear we shouldn’t expect a tight game on Thursday, March 14 at Scotiabank Arena as the Raptors opened as 9.5 point favorites against the Lakers. Tip off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST.
That’s what happens when one of the NBA’s best defensive teams tangles with one of the league’s worst offensive teams.
The Raptors have been doing an outstanding job of making life miserable for opponents in 2018-19. They rank 10th in fewest points allowed at 108.9 points per game, and are limiting opposing teams to 45.0% from the field and 35.0% from downtown.
Toronto uses its size and length to force 15.2 turnovers per game, and is 17th in the NBA in rebounding. Add it all up and you have a squad that can flourish even when its offense sputters.
Speaking of faltering offenses, the Lakers are generating 112.2 points on 44.0% shooting from the floor and 33.0% from downtown. They’re seventh in rebounds and 11th in dimes. They’ll need to be far sharper tonight to have any shot of pulling out a win.
These two teams have already met once this season. The last time they played on November 5th, 2018, Toronto won 121-107 behind 34 points from Serge Ibaka.
The Lakers are fresh off a 123-107 win versus the Bulls in Chicago in which they dished out 23 assists and came up with 11 steals. LeBron James led the way with 36 points. The Raptors, meanwhile, are hot on the heels of a 126-101 loss vs the Cavaliers in Cleveland in which they shot 11 for 39 from deep were out-rebounded 56-46.
All told, the Lakers have won three of their previous ten games and are 11th in the Western Conference, while the Raptors have have come out on the losing end of four of their last ten and are second in the Eastern Conference.
The 9.5-point spread isn’t the only angle you can take advantage of. Sportsbooks have also set a robust over/under total of 231. Bear in mind that Los Angeles is 27-38-2 against the spread this year and 28-39-0 over/under, compared to 29-39-0 ATS and 38-30-0 over/under for Toronto.
Feeling intrigued? Tip off for tonight’s game is soon!