NBA Team Preview: Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are just a few years removed from winning the NBA Championship in one of the most surprising runs in league history. Things have not gone well for Toronto since that time, and the 2021-22 season could be a struggle as well.
Toronto enters this year with some significant issues, and it’s unclear how the franchise will approach the year. The Raptors potentially have enough talent to challenge for a playoff position this season, but they could also choose to focus on the future and not contend this season.
The NBA betting lines don’t give the Raptors much chance to compete this season, but Toronto has proven to shock the NBA world before.
Toronto wasn’t able to add talent this offseason, and there won’t be many new faces donning a Raptors jersey this season. The Raptors were able to add some young talent in the draft, and they have also added a veteran guard from the Miami Heat.
Goran Dragic has been a key performer with the Miami Heat, but he will be coming off the bench for the Toronto Raptors this season. Scoring has been an issue at times for the Raptors, and Dragic should provide a clear boost to the second unit.
Scottie Barnes and Dalana Banton were chosen in the 2021 NBA Draft, and each player will be a big part of this team. Barnes is expected to see significant playing time in 2021-22, while Banton will be a project for the future.
Toronto made several changes in the offseason, but there is no arguing about which player will be the most significant loss. Kyle Lowry was sent to the Miami Heat in a sign and trade, and the franchise’s face is no longer with the team.
Lowry has lost a step since helping to lead the Raptors to an NBA Championship, but his absence will be felt on the court and in the locker room. This was viewed around the league as a clear sign that the Raptors were rebuilding, and it was a tough decision to take for the fans.
The new leader of the Toronto Raptors is Pascal Siakam, and he has been trending in that direction over the last few seasons. Siakam has proven himself as one of the top players in the NBA in recent seasons, but there will be serious pressure on him to deliver in 2021-22.
Point guard Fred VanVleet and small forward OG Anunoby are two other players that must step up in the absence of Lowry. If the Raptors are a playoff team in 2021-22, then VanVleet and Anunoby will have to get them there.
Online Sports Betting: Toronto Raptors
One of the most popular online sports betting odds to look at for the Toronto Raptors is the projected regular-season win total. The NBA betting lines have the Raptors over/under at 36.5 wins, which would signal a bit of a rebuild in 2021-22.
The NBA Atlantic Division has turned into one of the toughest in the league, and oddsmakers don’t like the chances for the Raptors to keep up. Toronto currently has odds set at +3600 to win the Atlantic Division, which is the worst odds out of any team.
The Raptors have odds set at +110 to make the NBA Play-In Tournament this season, which would put Toronto right on the bubble all season long. Toronto will have to decide if being a bottom seed in the East is more important than making trades and acquiring future talent.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.