The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs preceded this NBA season by making one of the biggest deals in the league: the mega-swap in which Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green went to the Raptors and DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl went to the Spurs. DeRozan was stung by being traded from a city he loved and was loyal to. On Friday, he returns to take on the Raptors in a different uniform. The Raptors are big favorites but can the Spurs win or cover to keep it close?
NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis
The Spurs are 33-26 overall and 31-27 against the spread (ATS). They have been ice cold against the spread of late, though, failing to cover in eight of their last 10 games. They’re also just 1-6 ATS in their last seven against winning teams. The good news is they are 5-0 ATS in their last five when they’ve had at least three days of rest
The Raptors are 43-16 overall and 26-33 against the spread. They are 24-5 at home straight up but 13-16 ATS in those contests, which shows they’ve had a lot of narrow home wins. They haven’t been very profitable as a favorite either as they are 19-26 ATS in those games.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs beat the Raptors, 125-107, on January 3rd in San Antonio. That game is a natural reference point for this one as DeRozan was outstanding with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists. That was his first career triple-double, so you can tell that he really wanted that win. He had a lot of help in that game, though, as the entire Spurs starting lineup scored 13 points or more. The challenge is that the Spurs are not as strong on the road as they are at home.
The Spurs have lost four of their last five games overall and the lone win was a narrow 108-107 victory over the hapless Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio’s defence really falls off on the road as they allow 115.6 points per game (24th in the NBA) compared to 107.0 at home (ninth). That number has to improve as they visit the Raptors on Friday
The Raptors are different from what they were in San Antonio a month and a half ago. First, Kyle Lowry was injured in that game and did not play against the Spurs. He will be ready for this game. Secondly, Toronto has shipped Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright to Memphis in exchange for Marc Gasol, who has been a valuable asset for the Raptors. While he’s still finding his way on offence, he’s averaged 6.3 rebounds 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game so far. This game will be a chance for Gasol to prove himself against a San Antonio team he knows very well. Having had the chance to get to know his Toronto teammates over the All-Star break, this could line up for a good showing for him.
On top of that, the Raptors are on a roll right now. They’ve won six straight and are really gearing up for a deep playoff run. Pascal Siakam is performing like an All-Star, fresh off a 44-point outing, and OG Anunoby is fresh off a season-best 22-point performance. With Jeremy Lin now on-board and a week off for this team to gel, they should be in great shape to get revenge and get a win.