Sitting pretty with a 43-16 record on the year, the Toronto Raptors have closed the gap to the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Nick Nurse’s side have won their last six NBA games and punters will fancy Toronto to extend that winning run when the San Antonio Spurs visit Scotiabank Arena this weekend.
According to the latest NBA betting odds with 888Sport, the Raptors are as short as 1/3 to emerge victorious in front of an expectant home crowd. Victory here will help Toronto to build momentum ahead of the postseason. Nurse’s men are likely to be right in the mix to challenge for NBA glory in 2019.
Meanwhile, San Antonio are languishing down in mid-table when it comes to the Western Conference. The Spurs are seventh at the time of writing and it is hard to envision an upset north of the border – stranger things have happened though and Toronto cannot afford to be complacent ahead of this encounter.
With Gregg Popovich at the helm, anything is possible though and Toronto fans will be wary of a major shock. The Spurs are 33-26 this year but the five-time NBA champions have failed to inspire confidence on the road. Without further ado, it is time to take a look at the two teams ahead of this weekend’s big clash.
Due Date: 23 February, 2019
Raptors Look Destined To Go Close In Title Pursuit?
Back against Toronto at your peril. The Raptors are in fantastic form and most fans will be expecting the Canadian side to emerge victorious in this contest. On paper, Toronto are a class above their opponents and that quality should prove decisive.
Nurse’s side have lost just five of their 29 home games this campaign – an incredible run to say the least. The Raptors are on the verge of something special and Canadian basketball fans are dreaming of a maiden NBA title for the organisation.
Currently priced at 11/1 with William Hill to win the Championship series, Toronto are clear second favourites behind the Golden State Warriors. Toppling the Warriors will be difficult but the Raptors cannot worry too much about what goes on in the Western Conference.
Kawhi Leonard continues to average 27 points per game and his influence should be enough to take Toronto to the latter stages of the playoffs. The ex-San Antonio Spurs star will be determined to make a positive impact against his former team this weekend.
Spurs Going Through Mid-Season Motions
You won’t find too many punters siding with the road team here. San Antonio have failed to build momentum away from home all year and this may get ugly for the Spurs. A heavy loss is expected at one of the most hostile venues in the NBA.
Betway are offering 50/1 for San Antonio to shock fans by winning the Western Conference crown but Spurs followers may be left disappointed. At this moment in time, it is touch and go whether San Antonio will even feature in the postseason.
Toronto could put on a show for their adoring fans this weekend. The Raptors will want to avoid a potential banana skin result and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Canadian outfit start quickly at Scotiabank Arena.
Leonard will want to show San Antonio exactly what they are missing and the former Spurs star could be set for a huge individual performance. Even if Leonard underwhelms, Toronto should have enough quality to put San Antonio to the sword.
TIP: Toronto Raptors to win
CORRECT SCORE: Toronto Raptors 118-102 San Antonio Spurs