The Toronto Raptors announced on Thursday, Feb. 11 the team will play the remainder of its 2020-21 home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. Toronto has been playing its home games in Tampa to start out this year, and it wasn’t clear whether the Raptors would return to playing in Toronto at some point this season. Thursday’s announcement confirmed the team would remain in the United States due to “ongoing border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Toronto is set to take on the Boston Celtics on the road Thursday night, and the Raptors come in with a record of 12-13, though they are playing solid basketball after a terrible start. Toronto won just two of its first 10 games this season, but the Raptors won five of their last six games including two straight victories. The Raptors have a chance to get their record to .500 for the first time all season.
Home vs. Road splits
Now that we know the Raptors will play out the rest of their home games in Tampa, let’s check out the home and road splits from this season compared to last year when the majority of their home games were played in Toronto. The Raptors are the only team in the NBA not playing in their regular home arena, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts the team moving forward.
We’ll break down the Raptors’ performances through straight up moneyline victories as well as point spreads and over/unders for sports bettors.
Last year: Looking back to the 2019-20 regular season, Toronto had the exact same straight up record in its home and away games. The Raptors had a 46-18 overall record before entering the Orlando bubble last season. Through 64 games outside the bubble when they actually had road and away games, Toronto finished 23-9 in and out of Scotiabank Arena. The 71.9% winning percentage ranked seventh among home teams and third among road teams.
This year: Through 25 games, the Raptors are 12-13 so far this season, and there has been a slight difference between their home and road splits in terms of actually winning the games. It’s a limited sample size, but the Raptors are 6-5 straight up at their “home” games in Tampa for a 54.5% winning percentage, which is tied for 11th in the NBA. On the road, Toronto is 6-8 straight up, which is 42.9%, 17th in the NBA.
Point spread splits
Last year: The Raptors did well in covering the spread wherever they played last season, but they were much better for bettors when they played at home. Toronto finished 19-13 against the spread in its home games for a 59.4% coverage rate, which was tied for the fourth highest among NBA teams playing at home. On the road, the Raptors still covered more than half the time and went 16-15-1 against the spread for 51.6%, which was tied for 15th among NBA teams playing on the road.
This year: If you have been consistently betting on the Raptors to cover the spread this season, you’ve likely lost money. In Toronto’s home games, it is 4-7 against the spread. That is 36.4%, which is 23rd in the NBA. On the road, the Raptors have been much better, covering 50% of the time with a record of 7-7. This is tied for 15th in the NBA.
Last year: Taking a look at last year’s point total splits, the Raptors hit the over more often than not whether they played on the road or at home. In its home slate, Toronto overs hit at a 17-15 rate, which is 53.1%, the 13th highest in the NBA. On the road, the Raptors went 17-14-1 in hitting overs for a 54.8% rate, tied for ninth in the league.
This year: The home and road splits for the Raptors’ point total has been quite drastic early on this season, as there have been a lot more overs hitting when Toronto heads out on the road. The Raptors are tied for 18th, hitting the over in five of their 11 home games at 45.5%. Away from home, it’s a different story. Toronto overs hit in 10 of its 14 road games for 71.4%, which is fourth in the NBA.