Thursday’s NBA slate tips off with the Wizards hosting the Raptors at Capital One Arena in their first head-to-head matchup of the season. Both teams enter Thursday night off wins, as Toronto notched a come-from-behind 104-98 win over Chicago while Washington escaped Atlanta with a 119-116 road victory.
Not much separates these two in the Eastern Conference standings, as the ninth-seeded Raptors sit one spot ahead of the Wizards, so Thursday’s matchup has some intrigue relative to the postseason race. The betting market’s also projecting a close contest, with the Raptors sitting as short road favorites.
Despite the Raptors sitting one game ahead in the Eastern Conference standings, do they deserve to be priced as road favorites? Below, we’ll break down this matchup while providing our best bets, per BetMGM’s updated odds.
Right off the bat, we do think this spread is correctly priced, as the Raptors warrant being a slight road favorite, especially with Wizards guard Monte Morris (back) missing tonight’s game. Despite Washington shooting the three-ball at a higher clip than Toronto has this season, the Wizards are coming off an inefficient three-point shooting display in their three-point road win over Atlanta, connecting on just 28.6 percent of their three-point attempts (six-of-21).
The Wizards still found a way to score 119 points, dominating Atlanta’s interior defense with 66 points in the paint. We’re not expecting the Wizards to be able to score as consistently in the paint against a solid Raptors interior defense, though. The Raptors rank in the top half of the league in points in the paint allowed per game (48.9) while also leading the league allowing just 11.8 second-chance points per game. With second-chance offense likely to be hard to come by for Washington, it’s unlikely they score 119-plus points for a second consecutive contest.
Toronto’s perimeter defense could be an issue, though, as the Raptors have allowed opponents to connect on 37.4 percent of their three-pointers (27th). If Toronto can limit Washington’s effectiveness from deep, they should do enough on the offensive end of the floor to notch a road win. O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam should hold their own against Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma, as a solid defensive effort to limit Washington’s go-to scoring options can help Toronto secure a much-needed win to keep them within striking distance in the Eastern Conference.
Best Bet: Toronto Raptors -1.5 (-115)
Wizards vs. Raptors best player prop: Gary Trent Jr. OVER 2.5 made three-pointers (+145)
We’ll take a chance on Trent Jr. to connect on three-plus three-pointers, as the Raptors’ wing sees enough volume to cash his OVER. Trent Jr. enters Thursday night playing 33.5 minutes per game while attempting 7.3 three-pointers. He’s coming off an efficient shooting output in Tuesday’s win over Chicago, dropping 19 points on five-of-11 of his three-point attempts. He’s connected on at least three made threes in nine of his past 14 games, so we’re expecting another solid shooting night from the former Duke Blue Devil.
Wizards vs. Raptors: DraftKings Showdown DFS lineup
Lineup assembled in DraftKings Showdown Mode. Six spots, $50,000 limit.
Captain (1.5x FPTS)
We’re rolling with Scottie Barnes as our Captain, as last season’s Rookie of the Year is always a threat to record a double-double and could end as the game’s leading fantasy point scorer. He most recently scored 37.5 FPTS in the Raptors’ win over the Bulls on Tuesday and did so on just four-of-12 shooting from the field. A better shooting output looks to be in store tonight. Delon Wright, who’s starting in place of the injured Monte Morris, is likely to play 30-plus minutes and has a chance to score in double-digits while adding a handful of assists and rebounds to bolster his fantasy showing. He’s an intriguing injury fill-in at just $5,000.