Toronto at Washington
Time: 6 PM CT, NBA TV
Spread: WAS -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Kawhi Leonard-led Toronto Raptors look better than ever, but it will face the Washington Wizards on the second night of a back-to-back as 1.5-point underdogs at 6 PM (CT) on NBA TV. The over/under is set at 220 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Toronto notched a huge victory over the Boston Celtics last night, 113-101, as it held the Celtics to just 40 percent shooting. Kawhi Leonard was dominant, with 31 points on 10 of 25 shooting, to go with his 10 rebounds and three assists. Leonard was obtained at the high cost of shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, and while he sat out the majority of the 2017-18 season, he seems ready to return to his dominant play on both ends.
Power forward Serge Ibaka shot 10 of 14 for 21 points and a +16 mark for his 34 minutes of play time. Leonard was +17 for his 36 minutes. The Raptors have a strong frontcourt, even if Paskal Siakem is both underrated and still figuring out things on offense. Toronto also possesses one of the deepest rotations in the league, with a second unit now featuring former starter Jonas Valanciunas, OG Anunoby, and sharpshooter CJ Miles.
Toronto should contend for the Eastern Conference crown, and with LeBron James now out of the way, it could even finally win it. The Raptors have been perpetual playoff disappointments, but perhaps with an MVP-caliber defender in Leonard and some blossoming young talents like Siakem and Anunoby, it now possesses enough talent and chemistry to cash in on its continually dominant regular seasons.
The Washington Wizards lost its season opener against the Miami Heat 112-113, and the best thing it may have going for itself tonight is that its opponent Toronto should be fairly fatigued after battling it out with Boston less than 24-hours before tonight’s tip-off.
John Wall now has Dwight Howard in Washington, but D12 is injured. That meant Ian Mahinmi drew the opening night start, and he played just 12 minutes, scoring three points. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined to shot 16 of 32 (50 percent) for 46 points between them, while Wall added nine assists. The thing is, no one really expects the Wizards to make any sort of quantum leap because it is still roughly the same team, and perhaps worse as Marcin Gortat was a valuable pick and roll player on both offense and defense.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is looking more and more like a bust, while Otto Porter Jr. is mostly overrated in his own right. Despite playing a fatigued Raptors team, Toronto’s depth should come into play because its second unit is arguably better than most of the Wizards starters. Toronto opened as 1-point favorites, which seems to be a better call than the Wiz as favorites: We like the Raps to prevail as slight underdogs as Washington falls to 0-2 on the season.