The odds of the Toronto Raptors making the 2023 NBA playoffs, according to BetRivers Ontario Sportsbook, tell the whole story.
On Monday morning, BetRivers had the Raptors at +125 to make the playoffs, -162 to miss out. Teams need to be part of the playoff field after play-in games have concluded.
The NBA has a two-tiered playoff system. Those who finish in the top six in each conference automatically get in. Team finishing seventh through 10th participate in a play-in tournament, this season taking place April 11-14, with two winners moving into the first round.
Last season, none of the play-in teams made it past the first round of the NBA playoffs – something worth noting for Ontario sports betting.
Where Toronto Raptors Stand in Playoff Race
After Sunday’s 118-93 loss in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, the Raptors sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference – 30-32, five games out of sixth spot (held by the New York Knicks).
At DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario, Toronto’s odds of making the play-in tournament are -425, the best odds of any team in the NBA.
The Raptors didn’t have it on defense on Sunday. That was obvious to anyone who watched the game. As head coach Nick Nurse told the media, his players were on their heels the whole night, in transition, guarding the ball screen and rolling to the rim.
The Raptors were missing Fred VanVleet for the third game in a row – he’s out for the birth of his child – and lacked intensity on the court. That flowed back to the 29-year-old point guard’s absence.
Plus, the Raptors just couldn’t handle Cavs star Donovan Mitchell, who carved them up with 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting – 8-for-12 from 3-point range.
Toronto Had Been Hot Before Sunday Loss
That was the first stinker in a while for Canada’s NBA representative. The Raptors went into the game winning seven of eight.
The Raptors have been under .500 since the middle of December, so it’s no surprise that the team’s odds to win the NBA title at BetMGM Ontario Sportsbook are +17500. To win the East, their odds are +8000 at BetMGM.
Jakob Poeltl a Key Addition
Jakob Poeltl has fit right into the lineup since the team acquitted him in a trade with San Antonio. He has given Toronto a boost, including 13 points, nine rebounds and one block against Cleveland.
The Raptors lacked a bonafide center all season, so Poeltl has given them a playoff-run boost at that position – including a 30-point game. He is also a defensive anchor, protecting the rim (the Raptors were a bottom-10 team in allowing teams to get to the rim and convert those chances before the Poeltl trade). Going into the Cleveland game, Poeltl led the team in field goal percentage (.744), rebounds (50) and blocks (11) in the five games since his arrival.
The Raptors couldn’t crack the 100-point mark in Saturday’s 95-91 win over the last place Detroit Pistons, either. Against the Cavaliers, Toronto struggled on offense, going 9-for-25 from 3-point range, 38.7% in overall field goal percentage. If the Raptors are going to make a move up the standings they have to start beating teams with better records – Cleveland is now 39-25, fourth in the East.
What’s Ahead This Week For Raptors
This week the Raptors have a chance to make some hay, with three games against two teams lower than them in the standings. It starts at home Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls (11th in the East, at 28-33), then a home-and-home against the Washington Wizards (10th in the East, 28-32, a game behind Toronto) Thursday and Saturday.
None of these games will be easy – the Bulls beat up on the Wizards 102-82 on Sunday, led by 29 points by an old friend of the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan. That was Chicago’s second win in a row after a six-game losing streak.
The Raptors are a good bet to make the play-in with Ontario sports betting apps if they stay healthy. Forward O.G. Anunoby hit the court on a botched layup on Sunday and was wincing after. That’s not a good sign for a key player who has had trouble staying healthy.
Still, when healthy, the Raptors are a good team. Just not a great one.
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