Wizards vs. Raptors NBA Odds & Picks: How to Bet Eastern Conference Matchup (May 6)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Lowry.
- The Toronto Raptors will take on the Washington Wizards in their temporary home on Thursday night.
- The Raptors need a win tonight, and the Wizards might suffer from tired legs coming off a back-to-back.
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
Wizards vs. Raptors Odds
|Moneyline||+123 / -143|
|Time||7:40 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The race for the playoffs is on, and two teams that have been red hot against the spread square off on Thursday in Tampa.
The Wizards have been on some kind of a heater, dropping just four games in their last 17 while charging up the standings to grab hold of the final playoff spot in the East.
The Raptors are three games behind them in 11th place, staying in the race with five wins in their last 10 despite so many injuries.
With at least a couple of players back, can Toronto find a way here at its temporary home? Let’s look at the matchup and see if we can find some value.
The Wizards are coming in off the second night of a back-to-back, so we don’t have their injury report quite yet, though there shouldn’t be anything new.
Rui Hachimura is likely to miss the contest under the league’s health and safety protocols, but other than that, Washington comes in healthy.
The second night of a back-to-back will, however, mean tired legs, and with so many close encounters lately separated by little rest, fatigue could surely play a role in the outcome here. It’s worth noting, though, that the Wizards are 10-6 against the spread on the second night of a back-to-back, though they’re just 17-18 ATS coming off a loss, as they are here.
It wasn’t just any loss, either, the Wizards fell in an absolute dogfight with the Bucks on Wednesday. Washington charged back late, outscoring Milwaukee by seven points in the fourth, but couldn’t get across the finish line and lost by just one. That game certainly serves as a measuring stick as far as the level of this team goes; the Wizards are certainly for real.
Over the last 10 games, only one team boasts a better offense than the Wizards, who have scored 120.1 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com. That’s been paired with the 12th-best defense over that span and the fifth-best rebounding rate in the league.
They’re firing on just about every cylinder.
Bradley Beal is coming off a ridiculous 42-point game in the loss to Milwaukee, and Russell Westbrook nearly posted a triple-double in just one half the game before that. The pace is fast, and the points have come even faster.
No one wanted to give the Raptors a chance against the Clippers, down OG Anunoby, Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr. against a team that was returning its point guard and starting its two stars.
Los Angeles got steamed all the way out to an 11-point favorite, which is where the line closed. What ensued was a fantastic game and fight by the Raptors, who carried a lead into the second half, entered the fourth quarter tied and wound up falling by five. That’s just the way this team has been playing of late.
The Raptors have now covered in three straight and find themselves three games back of the Wizards for the final playoff spot in the East. Normally, this would be almost insurmountable with just six games to play, but the fact that they will play Washington here gives them a chance to move up a game and apply some pressure.
The good news here is that help is on the way.
Trent is probable for Thursday’s tilt after missing time with a lower leg contusion, and Lowry’s been left off the injury report. Yuta Watanabe was dinged up but is listed as probable as well, while Anunoby is doubtful.
While the last bit of news definitely hurts Toronto’s chances, getting two starters back should give them a pretty great shot here considering what the healthy Raptors were able to do against the Clippers. They were out-rebounded but still outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 and had a +6 turnover differential. That’s Nick Nurse basketball.
Washington has excelled on the second night of back-to-backs this season, but I’m not so certain this is quite the same as the other games.
This team has exuded a lot of effort to get to this point, going to war with some of the best teams in the NBA over its run. The Wizards are due for a letdown, and I think it will come here against the Raptors.
It’s hard to ignore the job the Raptors have done defensively, allowing just 111.1 points per 100 possessions over the past 10 games, and with two starters returning, I’m even more bullish on their offense.
They should have the ingredients here to stymie a lethal offense and get enough buckets to pick up a must-win game here.
Toronto makes it four covers in a row and wins by multiple points, but I’ll pay the extra five cents in a game as tight as this.
Pick: Raptors ML (-115)