The Toronto Raptors will return to the court in their first game back since the All-Star Break when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, March 11. Toronto will likely remain undermanned once again as this game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Amalie Arena in Orlando, Florida.
Despite the time off, the Raptors organization is still going through COVID-19 issues. The break came at a perfect time to limit number of games several key players will miss, but Toronto will still need a number of players to step up in a big way.
The Raptors are expected to be without starters Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby along with reserves Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw. Each of these players missed time prior to the end of the NBA season’s first half. Not only that, but guard Terence Davis is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Toronto head coach Nick Nurse had been out for the same reason last week as well, but he has been cleared to return to the sideline to coach the Raptors. Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo had been in charge while Nurse was out.
Understandably, the Raptors struggled toward the end of the first half of the regular season in large part due to the COVID issues. Toronto lost four of its last five games including each of the last two, as the Raptors went into the break with a 17-19 overall record. They are the last-place team in the Atlantic Division and would be the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
As for Atlanta, the Hawks finished the first half of the regular season with a 16-20 record, which is third place in the Southeast Division and the 11th best record in the East. Atlanta won each of its last two games prior to the break. Atlanta has dealt with its fair share of issues this season on the injury front as the Hawks have been without Kris Dunn, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. Atlanta could be without center Clint Capela, who is listed as questionable with a foot injury.
The Raptors and Hawks played each other one previous time this season, and it was played in Atlanta with the Hawks winning a very high-scoring game 132-121
Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks Betting Info
With both teams not at full strength for a variety of reasons, NBA oddsmakers have a tough job in handicapping what will happen in this game, so we’ll see how accurate they are. Below is a look at the game’s updated odds with additional betting info. All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
The Raptors will enter as three-point underdogs in this matchup with all their COVID issues with odds at -109, while the Hawks have -112 odds to cover the -3 spread as the favorite.
Betting Trends: Toronto is 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games, while Atlanta is 4-7-1 against the spread in its last 12 games.
Oddsmakers set the over/under at 224.5 with the over getting -112 odds and the under at -109.
Betting Trends: The total went over in 11 of Atlanta’s last 14 games, and the over hit in four of Toronto’s last five games.
The Hawks are expected to win this game according to the oddsmakers, and they are getting -143 odds to earn an outright victory on the road, while the Raptors moneyline odds are at +123 to pull off the upset.
Betting Trends: Toronto is 1-4 straight up in its last five games, and the Raptors are 10-1 in their last 11 games against Atlanta.
Following this game, Toronto will go on a three-game road trip starting with the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, while the Hawks will host the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.