At the time of writing, the Toronto Raptors are in phenomenal form and plenty of punters will fancy Nick Nurse’s men to challenge for the NBA Championship this year.
With seven wins in their last 10 league games, Toronto are right in the mix to finish as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
Currently 37-15 on the year, the Raptors are heading in the right direction but Canadian fans will expect to go deep into the postseason too.
It’s all fine and dandy winning in the regular campaign but Toronto cannot afford to crumble on the big stage. It is time for the Raptors to take the next step in their pursuit of NBA glory.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers are looking like one of those ‘middle of the road’ teams in the Western Conference.
With 28 wins and 23 defeats so far this season, it is hard to see Los Angeles troubling the likes of Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets in the playoffs. In fact, simply featuring in the postseason would go down as a real achievement.
Despite Toronto’s upward trajectory, the Clippers have had the beating of their opponents in recent games.
Since the start of the 2016/17 campaign, Los Angeles have a 3-2 record in this fixture – the Raptors did win by 24 points in their most recent clash back in December though. This one could get ugly once again if Toronto go for the jugular…
Date: 3 February, 2019
Raptors Ready To Make Statement
Toronto are in a two-horse race with the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the East.
For Nurse, finishing the regular season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference is vital – gaining an early psychological edge over the Bucks could prove decisive in the postseason.
Barring an incredibly poor run, Toronto will almost certainly secure the divisional title again this year.
The Raptors have won the Atlantic crown in four of the previous five years and it would take a brave man to back against the Canadian side in their pursuit of more divisional glory.
Now priced at around 2/1 with 10Bet to go on and lift the Eastern Conference title, Toronto need to string a run of results together.
The Raptors have been simply sublime at Scotiabank Arena this year and another win this weekend will cement their status as the team to beat.
Clippers Will Be Wary Of Heavy Defeat
It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Clippers go aggressive here.
Most basketball fans will expect Toronto win quite easily and Los Angeles may choose to focus all of their efforts on an upcoming encounter – winning north of the border is a very difficult task.
The Clippers are one of those ‘nearly’ teams; the potential is there but something always seems to go wrong at the vital moment.
A postseason berth isn’t out of the question but a change in mindset may be required if Los Angeles are to go toe-to-toe with the Western Conference giants.
Another convincing win looks likely for Toronto. Their home record is sensational and most will expect the Raptors to cruise to victory without getting out of second gear.
Backing the Clippers here would be foolish – all signs point to a home win.
It might not be as convincing as it was back in December though. If the Clippers adopt an aggressive approach, we could see Los Angeles keep this one fairly respectable.
Expect a relatively high-scoring contest and it might turn out to be rather enjoyable for neutrals too.
TIP: Toronto Raptors to win
CORRECT SCORE: Toronto Raptors 121-109 Los Angeles Clippers