Raptors Host Cavs Tonight in Season Opener
Two of the Eastern Conference's legitimate playoff contenders open their regular seasons on Wednesday night in Toronto, as the Raptors host the Cavaliers
The Toronto Raptors exited last year's NBA playoffs early and now the wait is finally over to see if they'll improve and take the next step forward, or regress back into mediocrity.
The Raptors' season opener tonight hosting a solid Cleveland Cavaliers team will tell us a lot early about what we may expect this season. Toronto is a -2.5 favourite at Spreads.ca, which means oddsmakers see these teams as roughly equal in talent. The Raptors enter the season priced at 46.00 to win the NBA championship (1.00 invested returns 46.00).
Tip-off at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto happens at 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT.
Here's a glance at partial odds at Spreads.ca on this game:
A Look at the Cavs:
The Cleveland Cavaliers finished last season with a (44-38) record, which put them in 9th place in the Eastern Conference standings. However, they were eliminated in the play-in tournament.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has emerged as one of the most respected coaches in the NBA. He'll have more to work with this season. Cleveland looks to be a strong team in a loaded Eastern Conference after having a big off-season with trades and signings, highlighted by adding newly acquired G Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.
A Look at the Raptors:
The Toronto Raptors went (48-34) last season, as they earned the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. But they lost in the first round in 6 games to the Philadelphia 76ers and struggled on offense.
Led by former Coach of the Year, this team looks to do what they have done for most of their recent history since winning the championship four seasons ago: win in the playoffs.
With returning NBA all-stars Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, along with last year’s Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, the Raptors are a good bet to enjoy some success going forward.
Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Home teams enjoy a little extra boost in their season opener. They play with more intensity. Home teams might even get a few more whistles from the officials. Consider last night's season-opening two games, with both home teams winning and easily covering the spread. Home teams also went 17-13 ATS in season openers last season.
The Raptors are more experienced and have tremendous talent as well, and both of these teams are extremely well-coached, so we can probably expect a close game.
Normally, a close game means it's best to take points. However, we believe Toronto has just enough talent to get the win and cover at home.