The Toronto Raptors will not have a player competing in the NBA All-Star Game this year for the first time since the 2012-13 season, but the break is much needed for the organization, which struggled to the finish line of the first half of 2020-21 due to COVID-19 related issues.
The Raptors closed out the first half of the regular season losing four of their last five games including two in a row in which they did not have some key members of the roster including players and coaches. On Thursday, March 4, Toronto tried to hang with the Boston Celtics but came away unsuccessful in a 132-125 road loss. The Raptors were again without starters Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby along with reserves Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw as they remained in the health and safety protocols. In addition, head coach Nick Nurse missed another game along with several members of the staff.
Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo was in charge of what was left of the team, and the Raptors knocked down 21 3-pointers but struggled to get stops on the defensive end. Toronto had a nine-point lead in the first half and went into the break ahead 70-66. Chris Boucher came off the bench and scored 30 points for the Raptors on 11 of 15 shooting including 5 of 9 from the three-point line. Norman Powell had 25 points on 7 of 17 shooting from the floor, and Kyle Lowry had 19 assists to go along with 14 points on 5 of 18 shooting. Eight players saw the floor for the Raptors in the loss.
As the Raptors look ahead to the second half of their season, there is much more clarity than when the season started. The organization has confirmed it will finish out the rest of the season with its home games located at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida due to COVID-19 travel.
Toronto heads into the All-Star break with a 17-19 record, which is last place in the Atlantic Division. The Raptors are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have the 18th best record across the entire NBA. The Raptors are just 8-8 on their 2020-21 home court and 9-11 away from Amalie Arena. The Raptors are the only team in the NBA not playing at their usual home arena this season.
As the first half of the NBA season wrapped up, it’s interesting to look back on some of the betting trends for the Raptors this season and look ahead to some of Toronto’s futures odds with what the oddsmakers expect from this organization the rest of the way.
Toronto will return to the court on Thursday, March 11 with a home game against the Atlanta Hawks before three straight games away from home.
First Half Betting Numbers
Below is a look at where the Raptors stack up with the rest of the NBA after the first half of the regular season has completed. We’ll take a look at the three major betting categories including moneyline, point spread and point totals.
Moneyline: With a 17-19 moneyline record, that ranks 18th across the entire NBA at 47.2% on the moneyline.
Point Spread: The Raptors against the spread have the exact same record as they do on the moneyline at 17-19, which is tied for 17th in the NBA with three other teams.
Point Total: Games involving the Raptors have had more points than oddsmakers thought, as the over is 21-15 this season, which is 58.3%. Toronto hits the over the eighth most of any team in the NBA.
Futures Betting Odds Updated
Prior to the start of the NBA season, we went through many futures betting odds for the Raptors going into the year. At the halfway point of the season, let’s take a look at some of the updated team futures odds for Toronto and where they have adjusted from prior to the year starting.
All odds are via the same popular United States sportsbook.
Championship Winner: Toronto came into the season with the 10th best odds to win the NBA Finals at +2500 odds. The Raptors fell just one spot to tied for 11th at this point of the season, but the odds suggest they are much more of a long shot at +5000.
Conference Winner: The Raptors came in with the sixth best odds at +1200, and that hasn’t changed much. Toronto is still sixth with slightly worse odds at +1600.
Division Winner: Toronto had the third best odds to win the Atlantic Division heading into the season at +320, and the odds have gotten significantly worse. The Raptors now have the fourth best odds in the division, which sits at +4000.