NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Raptors vs. Nets Game 3 (Friday, Aug. 21)
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Serge Ibaka
- The Toronto Raptors meet the Brooklyn Nets for Game 3 of their first round series Friday.
- The defending champions are double-digit favorites (-11) in this game after winning the first two. Can Brooklyn rally to cover?
- Joe Dellera previews today's action below, including his favorite bet for the game.
Raptors vs. Nets Betting Odds
|Raptors Odds||-11 [BET NOW]|
|Nets Odds||+11 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-670/+500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday, 1:30 p.m. ET|
The Nets enter a critical Game 3 without sharpshooter Joe Harris who left the bubble for personal reasons. Can the Raptors capitalize against the shorthanded Nets?
The Raptors have looked dominant at times but they’ve allowed the Nets to linger in these games. Last game, they were unable to take advantage of their free throw opportunities (67.9%) and struggled from 3-point range (25.7%).
Their struggles from deep are problematic considering they score the third-highest percentage of their points from three point range, per NBA.com. Chalk Game 2 up as a poor shooting performance overall, the Raptors have the fifth-best 3-point percentage in the league (37.4%) and they should improve.
The Raptors have been able to run in this series. They initiate their offense in transition at the second highest rate in the league and they’ve actually been able to do so more often in the first two games against the Nets.
Additionally, they’ve scored almost twice as many points off turnovers, and this opens up clean looks for the offense.
The Nets have not really shown that they are capable of stopping the Raptors in transition. Even if the Nets wanted to counter and run with the Raptors, they would be facing the league’s fourth-best transition defense. The Raptors have faltered at times in these games, but they’ve ultimately controlled the court.
Losing Joe Harris is a massive blow for the Nets. On the season, he has a +4.4 points per 100 possessions better when Harris is on the court vs. off with his primary benefit being on the offensive side of the ball. While Harris is not the Nets’ leading scorer, he’s elite in terms of efficiency.
In the bubble, Harris is in the 98th percentile for points per shot attempt and eFG% (74.7%). In other words, Harris is getting great looks and he’s taking advantage of them all.
Harris is not a shot creator, he primarily relies on catch and shoot opportunities and this could impact some of his teammate’s assist totals in this game (see Caris LeVert).
Expect even more 3-point attempts from Garrett Temple, Timothe Luwawau-Cabarrot, and Tyler Johnson, but do not expect those attempts to translate into points as Harris is the team’s best 3 point shooter.
The loss of Harris is also going to impact the Nets’ spacing. He’s someone that the Raptors need to respect from deep and keeps them from cheating too much in help coverage.
Without him on the floor, the Raptors will be able to focus on double teaming or trapping LeVert even more as he tries to set up his teammates.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If the Raptors shoot even remotely close to their season averages from the charity stripe and 3-point range they win and cover in both of these games.
The loss of Harris severely impacts the Nets’ offense as he is such an efficient scorer and their team total is falling. It opened at 106.5 and I think it’s actionable to under 105, but would not touch it after that.
At the time of this writing, the Raptors are receiving 58% of spread bets that account for a massive 89% of the money. In the NBA Playoffs it has been profitable to follow the money when betting on favorites.
We are looking at a line that opened shorter than last game at -9 and I think you’d be hard pressed to find -10.5 (check out our odds page to shop for the best line) still there by tip off.
I’m going back to the well and expecting the Raptors to shoot better and cover this spread against a shorthanded Nets team.
The PICK: Raptors -10.5