Nuggets vs. Raptors Odds & Pick (Friday, Aug. 14): Bet on Toronto’s Winning Mentality

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Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Stanley Johnson.

  • Brandon Anderson breaks down betting odds and offers his predictions and picks for Friday's NBA matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors.
  • Both teams are expected to rest players in preparation for the playoffs, so does that mean it's time to fade the reigning champion Raptors as favorites?
  • Anderson says absolutely not. Read on to find out why he's backing Toronto to finish the regular season with a win.

Nuggets vs. Raptors Betting Odds

Nuggets odds +2 [BET NOW]
Raptors odds -2 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +110/-133 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 224.5 [BET NOW]
Time 1:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN

Odds as of Friday at 12:30 a.m. ET and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


All season long, we have spoken of an NBA “big three” consisting of the Milwaukee Bucks and both Los Angeles teams. Those three teams are said to tower above the competition, and just about everyone expects the NBA Finals to be Milwaukee versus one of the two L.A. squads.

If that’s not the Finals matchup, it might well be because of one of these two teams. The Raptors and Nuggets had the best records in the NBA outside of that preeminent “big three.” Toronto is locked into the 2-seed in the East as the defending world champion, and Denver is the 3-seed in the West.

Neither team has anything to play for here, so expect plenty of bench players and youngsters getting run in this matchup.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets don’t need a win, but it’ll be interesting to see Denver’s playing time distribution. Jamal Murray is still getting back into the rhythm of things. So, while a player of his caliber would normally sit out a game like this, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get a solid half in. Gary Harris and Will Barton have yet to play in the bubble, and both are listed out again.

Yes, we should get a lot of Bol Bol, so that’s exciting. Bol probably won’t play a significant role in the playoffs, but that could always change if he continues to shine when he does play. Michael Porter Jr. might already be too valuable to play in a game like this. Denver needs him now. I wouldn’t expect much, if any, Nikola Jokic. Maybe a half.

Denver will likely give a lot of playing time to Bol, P.J. Dozier, and the back-end of the bench. Maybe guys like Torrey Craig and Jerami Grant play in expanded roles to push them a bit. This is a game to experiment and get comfortable.

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are reigning NBA champions. Sometimes it’s just good to remember that.

Unlike the Nuggets, Toronto has no need to get this team run together. Toronto is the king of continuity, and they’ve dominated in the bubble with a  6-1 record — even in games that haven’t mattered much.

The Raptors already sat OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka on Wednesday. They’re both questionable again, and it would be a surprise if they played much — if at all. Toronto also gave limited minutes on Wednesday to Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet. That’s the expectation again here, and some of those names will probably sit out. Pascal Siakam played almost a full load Wednesday, so I expect he may sit entirely.

But, that won’t leave Toronto without options. The Raptors are arguably the deepest team in the league. We’ve already seen names like Norman Powell, Chris Boucher, Matt Thomas, and Terence Davis step up time and again for this team. Nick Nurse is the master of the next-man-up mentality, and this team has a championship culture. They may not play their full roster, but they’ll be competing to win.

Betting Analysis & Pick

This game means very little to either team, but don’t tell that to the guys at the end of the bench who finally get real playing time in front of a national audience.

There are a lot of unknowns in this matchup. But there is also one certainty: The Raptors defense, which always shows up no matter who is playing.

I’m betting on Toronto’s coaching, culture, and team defense to win the day. I’ll take the Raptors to win and cover, and this should be a fun one no matter which guys play.

Pick: Raptors -2 (up to -3.5)

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