Toronto Raptors 2019-20 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets
Best Bet – Toronto Raptors Over 45.5 Wins
Worst Bet – Toronto Raptors to win NBA Title
The Toronto Raptors are coming off their first NBA title in franchise history. Though some might call it the title that the Golden State Warriors lost, nevertheless the result was the same. It was a pretty magical time for Toronto, who is probably not being given enough credit for the success they had given that they won the title with a brand new head coach and an MVP who never really wanted to be there in the first place. It was a magical ride, and then the summer hit, killing all of the optimism for continued high level success north of the border.
The acquisition of SF Kawhi Leonard and SG Danny Green from San Antonio last summer was critical to Toronto’s success. Kawhi went from great to all world during the title run and Green was a solid contributor throughout the season, though his playoff performance was lacking. Both are now in LA, Leonard to the Clippers and Green to the Lakers, forcing Toronto to come up with a couple of new starters on the wings. How well they can fill those slots will determine how smooth sailing this season is going to be. They have some good options but nobody with the track records of the players they are replacing. The rest of the team is intact featuring All-Star PG Kyle Lowry and recently minted most improved player PF Pascal Siakam.
To offset production losses the Raptors have bought some lottery tickets in Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Those guys never really panned out with the teams that drafted them but there is every reason to think the Raptors can get more out of them because they are so strong on player development, just look at Siakam and the production from undrafted PG Fred VanVleet as two examples. What Toronto really needs is for G/F OG Anunoby to take the next step and become a productive starter. Over his first couple of seasons he has struggled with injuries and role playing and now the path is clear. He can be a starter at the 3 and average 16/8 if he is as good as the Raptors think. I think that is very reasonable, and he can play good defense too. He is not at Kawhi’s level but he is far from the worst replacement. Just unproven as of yet.
Toronto Raptors Win Total: O/U 45.5
Just as a reference point the last time the Raptors won less than 48 games was the 2012-13 season, also the last time they missed the playoffs. They are definitely not as strong as they were a year ago on paper but the league is still loaded with terrible teams which means that Toronto should not have too great a slide with their current unit. They are not the division favorites but this total seems like too great of a correction after Kawhi left. He missed a quarter of their games a year ago and they were good during the regular season without him. Recommendation: Take the Over. Regular season wins are going to be easier for a team with a lot of continuity, especially early in the season.
Odds to make the playoffs -280 (Yes) +240 (No)
The landscape in the NBA shifted a lot over the summer that’s for sure but I still see Toronto as a definite playoff team. They might not host a playoff series in the spring but having a handful of teams bump them down and all the way out in the Eastern Conference looks very unlikely. Who are those teams? This one is kind of a no brainer. I thought the payoff would be worse. Recommendation: Better than expected payout for a near sure thing.
Odds to win Atlantic Division +500
Last year most had the Raptors and Boston as co best bets for the division title, which Toronto has won in five of the past six seasons. This year, Toronto is a definite third option heading into the season as Philly and Boston have made significant changes and look to have leapfrogged the champs. Even Brooklyn might be a threat if Kyrie Irving is fantastic. I do think that Toronto can challenge though. I think Boston is banking on some of its young players improving, just like Toronto, while the 76ers have built a team in a different way than most are built these days. They could have challenges working it out. Toronto has continuity on its side this season and maybe they sneak in there and win the Atlantic again.
Recommendation: I would dabble a little here.
Odds to win Eastern Conference +800
Last year Toronto had its moments as it won the East for the first time. They could have easily lost against Philly or Milwaukee, but they made their own luck and eventually triumphed. The East looks very competitive at the top again and Toronto might not have home court advantage for as long this season. Milwaukee enters the equation now in terms of wagering and they are going to be really good again. I am not sure they are better than last year but more experienced for sure. Giannis is Giannis and he keeps getting better so there is that too. Repeating as conference champs seems less likely for a team that is aging like Toronto is also. Experience counts for something though. Recommendation: Better payoff here but I like their division chances a lot better.
Odds to win NBA Title +2500
The narrative of losing your best player, a Finals MVP, and then winning another title is a hard one to wrap your head around. As much as I would love to see it I can’t. I do think that if they did return to the Finals it would mean that this team was seriously underestimated and would have a chance of winning but that is a real long shot…and one you could probably make some money along the way on, rather than tie it up all season long. The payoff is not good enough for me given all of the good teams in the West and the East. They were a good dark horse last year. You just might have missed it. Recommendation: Just not seeing it this year.