The Philadelphia 76ers (49-30) head north of the border Thursday to play the Toronto Raptors (46-33). Tip-off at Scotiabank Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the 76ers vs. Raptors odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
As of Wednesday’s games, Philly would meet Toronto in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs with the Sixers as the 4-seed hosting the 5-seed Raptors.
Philly has won three in a row following a three-game losing skid and is just 1-5 against the spread (ATS) over that span.
Toronto is 6-1 straight up (SU) and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games with the most recent being a 118-108 home win over the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday.
The Raptors are 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS this season versus the Sixers and the total is 2-1 Over/Under (O/U).
76ers at Raptors odds, spread and lines
LEAN RAPTORS (+105) only because I’d prefer to take however many points I can get with Toronto. But, the oddsmakers were correct in making the Raptors a favorite on the opener and the market is wrong to bet the 76ers up to a favorite.
The main reason is Philly big Joel Embiid struggles against the Raptors because their head coach Nick Nurse is a defensive mastermind. Embiid has a 55.3% true shooting rate versus Toronto (career 60.0% true shooting) and a minus-3 net rating (career plus-11 net rating) over his career.
The Raptors are also deep on the wing and the Sixers will be missing its best wing defender in Thybulle. Backup Philly SF Danny Green cannot be expected to handle Toronto SF Pascal Siakam who’s balling this season.
Toronto looked much better versus Atlanta than the final score indicates. All-Star PG Fred VanVleet shot an awful 4-for-21 from the field and missed a ton of wide-open looks. I expect VanVleet to have a bounce-back performance and to light up Philly’s backcourt Thursday.
Again, it’s only a LEAN to the RAPTORS (+105) because I prefer Toronto’s spread.