Raptors vs. Nets Odds & Picks: Back Brooklyn’s Dynamic Offense at Home
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Durant #7 and James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets.
- The Raptors and Nets meet for the first time on Friday night since Toronto swept Brooklyn out of the bubble.
- Should we back the Nets to continue rolling with their big three over the Raptors on Friday?
- Roberto Arguello breaks it down and shares his betting pick below.
Raptors vs. Nets Odds
|Moneyline||+180 / -225|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
The Raptors face the Nets Friday night in Brooklyn in the first meeting between these teams since the Raptors swept the Nets out of the bubble in the postseason.
This is also the first time Kevin Durant will face the Raptors since he ruptured his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Both teams are playing for the first time since exciting wins on Tuesday, but the Nets have put together an impressive stretch over their past 10 games. Should we expect the Nets to continue rolling with their big three over the Raptors on Friday?
The Raptors will be shorthanded as OG Anunoby (calf) and Patrick McCaw (knee) remain out. The absence of Anunoby means that a tough defensive matchup just got harder for players like Norman Powell and defensive grinder Yuta Watanabe.
If the Raptors hope to pull the upset or cover against the Nets, they need Fred VanVleet to keep shooting at a high level and for Pascal Siakam to step up.
VanVleet dropped a career-high 54 points in his last game, and leading up to the Nets matchup, coach Nick Nurse joked that VanVleet might need to score 10 more points against the Nets. VanVleet made 11-of-14 3s in that game, and the Raptors will need to shoot efficiently from beyond the arc to counter the Nets’ loaded offense.
The Nets have lost just once when their three best players have played together — a game where Collin Sexton scored 42 points and the Cavaliers shot 20-of-40 on 3s.
VanVleet doesn’t necessarily need to drop 40 or 50, but he and Kyle Lowry need to shoot well while also setting up quality looks for perimeter shooters like Powell and Chris Boucher.
The Raptors also need Pascal Siakam to return to his All-Star form. Siakam’s career-low Effective Field Goal Percentage of 47.1% ranks in the 14th percentile among bigs and he hasn’t been particularly accurate from anywhere on the court.
Per Cleaning The Glass, Siakam ranks in the 37th percentile in accuracy at the rim (63%), in the 51st percentile in midrange accuracy (43%), and in the ninth percentile in 3-point accuracy (24%). He has been most accurate in the long midrange, but it will be a tough task to beat the Nets shooting those kinds of shots.
Siakam needs to be more aggressive getting to the rim and utilize his size over a smaller Nets team in addition to shooting the ball more accurately.
Offense isn’t an issue for the Nets with their superstars. The Nets have the third-ranked offense (excluding garbage time) scoring 118.7 points per 100 possessions while also posting the highest eFG percentage (58.7%) in the NBA. Their issues remain on defense as their offense has needed to overcome the 24th-rated defense that allows 113.7 points per 100 possessions.
However, the Nets have shown that they have the ability to flip the switch defensively when they want to against better opponents. In their 15 games against teams with losing records, the Nets have averaged a Defensive Rating (excluding garbage time) of 117.7, which would rank 28th in the NBA.
The Nets have turned up the intensity defensively against better opponents with a 104.6 Defensive Rating in eight games against winning teams, which would rank first in the NBA.
We should expect the Nets to continue playing their best basketball when the spotlight is brightest. They are an NBA-best 9-3 straight up against teams with winning records, and are undefeated in nationally televised games.
While the Raptors don’t have a winning record, the Nets should be motivated to play against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season and is expected to be in the playoffs again this season despite a slow start. While the Nets have risen to the challenge this season, the Raptors have not — they are 1-8 against teams with winning records this season.
The Raptors will miss Anunoby, their best perimeter defender, as he remains out against the Nets’ offense, which has the league’s three best isolation scorers. With their potent offense, the Nets will be too much for the Raptors to handle. I’ll take the Nets to cover with value down to Nets -6.5.
Pick: Nets -5.5 (with value down to -6.5)