Raptors vs Thunder Prediction, Picks Today | Sunday, Feb. 4

Raptors vs Thunder Prediction, Picks Today | Sunday, Feb. 4 article feature image

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors, Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors plays defense. (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

Raptors vs. Thunder Prediction, Picks for Sunday, Feb. 4

Sunday, Feb. 4
7 p.m. ET
League Pass
Thunder -8.5 (-110)

Here's everything you need to know about Raptors vs. Thunder on Sunday, Feb. 4 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Raptors will continue their six-game road trip when they head to Oklahoma City (OKC) to take on the Thunder on Sunday night. This will be the first of two meetings between the teams this season as the Raptors look to bounce back from a 29-point loss their last time out.

Toronto enters looking for momentum as it has just one win in its last seven games and two in its last 12. On the other hand, the Thunder can improve to 3-1 on this homestand following a 126-106 victory over Charlotte.

This is an interesting matchup between two teams on the opposite sides of blowouts in their most recent games.

Thus, while some might expect a spirited performance from the Raptors, teams that are coming off a 20-point victory have proven to be the more profitable of the two in this spot.

Let's get to our Raptors vs. Thunder prediction and pick.

Raptors vs. Thunder Prediction

Pick: Thunder -8.5 (-110)

Raptors Slumping

I'm a bit surprised to see the Raptors down to 8.5-point underdogs after catching 12 points at the open. Given their recent performance, it's hard to identify anything to justify the Raptors being shorter than double-digit dogs.

Initially, the Raptors got a little boost after acquiring RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley via trade from the Knicks as Toronto won and covered the spread in three of its first four games following their arrival.

However, it's pretty much been downhill since then with four of the Raptors’ 10 losses being by 20 or more points.

Before sending OG Anunoby to New York as part of the trade, the Raptors had a 114.9 Defensive Rating according to NBA.com. Since his departure, that number has ballooned to 120.3. Overall, the Raptors’ Net Rating dropped from -1.1 to -5.3.

In comparison, New York's Defensive Rating improved dramatically from 114.8 to 105.4 since the trade.

The Raptors will face a Thunder team that ranks third in Defensive Rating at 111.0. Toronto has struggled against this type of team this year as our Action Labs database shows it's just 3-8 against the spread in this spot for a loss of 5.25 units.

SGA Leads Consistent Thunder

Every time OKC has had a bit of wobble this season, it's managed to right the ship. Recently, Thunder fans got a scare after a double-digit loss on the road to a Pistons team that has the worst record in the league at 6-42.

While the Thunder tasted defeat in their next game against the Timberwolves, that loss was more tolerable given Minnesota's position atop the Western Conference standings.

Yet, time and time again during this campaign, the Thunder have avoided any prolonged cold spells. Oklahoma City is a perfect 4-0 on the season when facing a three-game losing streak. OKC is also one of four teams that ranks in the top 10 for both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.

Given that Oklahoma City has the second-youngest team in the league with an average age of 23.8 years, there was a thought their youthful exuberance would start to wane at some point.

However, that hasn't been the case, and OKC's star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks determined to keep it that way as he's scored 30 or more points in nine straight games.

While those numbers would be more than suitable for any top player, Gilgeous-Alexander uses his defense to lead his by example, and his teammates have taken notice. "He's really vocal on the defensive side, just calling the coverages and all that, too," Thunder teammate Luguentz Dort said of Gilgeous-Alexander. "Just him being aggressive, it just feeds off on the other guys on the team."

In addition to averaging 31.3 points on the season, Gilgeous-Alexander leads the league with 2.3 steals per game. The six-year pro looks committed to dragging his team across the finish line by any means necessary.

Raptors vs. Thunder Picks, Odds

Sunday, Feb. 4
7 p.m. ET
League Pass
Raptors Odds
Thunder Odds
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

While I'm always a bit leery of fading teams off a bad loss, the threat is somewhat neutralized when they face an opponent on the right side of a lopsided victory.

Momentum has to count for something in this spot, especially with a quality team like the Thunder.

Earlier, I highlighted how the Raptors have struggled against teams with an exceptional Defensive Rating. If we compare the previous game margins for both the Raptors and Thunder, we'll find that when facing a team off a loss of 29 or more points, favorites off a win of 20 or more points are 45-28-3 ATS for 14.33 units.

This angle is currently on a 6-0 ATS run.

My model makes the Thunder closer to 13.5-point favorites, giving me a significant edge at the current number of -8.5 on the spread.

Pick: Thunder -8.5 (-110)

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