After welcoming back LeBron James last Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers now take on the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center this Sunday. With that said, it’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Raptors-Lakers prediction and pick.
The Raptors are the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 26-38 after losing three consecutive games, as their playoff hopes grow dimmer. The Lakers, on the other hand, are sitting on the 6th seed in the Western Conference with a record of 36-27 despite losing two straight games and three of their last 10 outings.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Raptors-Lakers odds.
NBA Odds: Raptors-Lakers Odds
Toronto Raptors +8.5 (-108)
Los Angeles Lakers -8.5 (-112)
Over 216 Points (-110)
Under 216 Points(-110)
Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread
The Raptors are having a super disappointing season after dealing with loads of injuries. The team is currently ranked with the 14th best offensive rating and the 16th best defensive rating in the league.
Coach Nick Nurse will be without VanVleet on Sunday, and that means he’ll need to find a lot more production from either Pascal Siakam or Kyle Lowry and the rest of his squad to make up for the offensive load and playmaking abilities of VanVleet.
Siakam has been averaging 20.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assist, while Lowry has been putting up 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game for the season. These numbers are quite lower than their previous season averages and a big reason for the struggles of this Toronto team.
The keys for the Raptors to cover the spread against the Lakers will be to play with more energy and to force the ball out of LeBron or Anthony Davis’ hands.
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
In his first game back, LeBron looked a bit rusty but was still able to put up 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes of action. The only other players to score double-digit points were Davis with 22, Andre Drummond with 17 and Ben McLemore off the bench with 12.
For the Lakers to win, LeBron and Davis will not only need to be more dominant offensively, but Coach Vogel will also need to find more offensive production from key role players.
Not surprisingly with the absence of their star players, the Lakers have dropped to the 22nd best offensive rating in the league, which they will need to work on. However, it is worth noting that they have been able to retain the best defensive rating in the association.
The key for the Lakers to cover the spread against the Raptors, who are dealing with their fair share of injuries, will be to make it tough for Lowry and Siakam offensively by forcing difficult shots or the ball out of their hands.
Final Raptors-Lakers Prediction & Pick
The Lakers are slowly working their way back to a completely healthy roster as they match up with the Raptors.
Ultimately, the Lakers should pick up a much-needed win on Sunday against the Raptors as they have above LeBron and Davis back offensively. It is also worth noting that they are the better defensive team in comparison.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR RAPTORS-LAKERS: TOR 90, LAL 108 (LAL -8.5)