The Philadelphia 76ers will face the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a 76ers-Raptors prediction and pick.
These teams would play each other in the first round of the postseason if the playoffs began today, making this a particularly important game for the Sixers. They’ll get a playoff preview against Toronto while having the chance to gain ground on the second or third seeds in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is tied for the third seed with the Milwaukee Bucks while trailing the Boston Celtics by a half-game for the second seed. The Celtics play the Bucks on Thursday night, making this game even more important for the Sixers. The Raptors, on the other hand, don’t have all that much to play for. They’re essentially locked into the fifth seed, but they would love to play spoiler to Philadelphia and steal a win here.
Here are the 76ers-Raptors NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: 76ers-Raptors Odds
Philadelphia 76ers: -2 (-106)
Toronto Raptors: +2 (-114)
Over: 220 (-108)
Under: 220 (-112)
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Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
Philadelphia’s defense will fare well in this matchup. The Sixers have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this entire season, allowing only 107 points per game while holding their opponents to 45% shooting, including 34% shooting from three-point range. These teams have already played three times this season, and the Raptors failed to surpass 110 points in two of those meetings, including a recent contest in which they were held to 93 points. The Raptors have already shown themselves to be a plus matchup for this Sixers defense, and that shouldn’t change in this matchup.
It’s possible that the Raptors will be without a key player in this matchup. Starting shooting guard OG Anunoby is questionable with a thigh injury, and his absence would deal a huge blow to Toronto. While he isn’t a huge scorer, Anunoby is one of the Raptors’ best defenders. He’s the one who would be tasked with guarding James Harden, a crucial job when it comes to slowing down the Sixers. Without him, the Raptors have gone 15-17 on the year. It’s clear that his presence is crucial to their success, especially against such a good team.
Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread
With or without Anunoby, the Raptors should find some measure of success on defense. The Sixers aren’t a great offensive team, averaging only 109 points per game on 46% shooting. Both of those numbers are hanging around the average mark. Another key stat is Philadelphia’s average number of shots per game. The Sixers only shoot 84 shots per contest, one of the lowest numbers in the league. The Raptors have been great at limiting opposing possessions, as their opposition only averages 84 shots per game, the second-lowest number in the league. This is a pretty solid matchup for Toronto.
The Raptors have already beaten this Philadelphia team twice. The only time they lost, they were playing without star guard Fred VanVleet, forward Scotty Barnes, and Anunoby. Despite those crucial absences, they hung around with a healthy Philly team and only lost by five points. The Sixers aren’t completely healthy in this game, as starting forward Matisse Thybulle won’t play in this contest. Toronto also has tons of momentum, as they’re entering this game on after winning twelve of their last fifteen games. This looks like a pretty decent spot to pick an upset.
Final 76ers-Raptors Prediction & Pick
Toronto should cover in this game. Their defense and history against Philadelphia will keep things close, and an outright win isn’t out of the question.
Final 76ers-Raptors Prediction & Pick: Toronto Raptors: +2 (-114)