The Toronto Raptors are in an interesting spot in the Eastern Conference right now. They’ve lost three of their last four games to fall to 32-35, but that record actually still puts them in ninth place in the East. That’s not much different from where the Los Angeles Lakers are right now. Though LA has won three of their last four to pull themselves up to 32-34 good for ninth place in the West.
The injury bug has been biting the Lakers all year and today isn’t much different with Lebron out, but D’Angelo Russell is expected to return for LA tonight. The Raptors are actually favorites on the road tonight, so let’s see the odds.
Raptors vs. Lakers odds, spread and total
Raptors vs. Lakers prediction and pick
These teams are honestly on similar paths the main difference being the star power that exists in LA with Lebron and Anthony Davis. However, they’re both just under .500, but are still in the playoff picture and both of these teams made trade deadline additions that completely shifted the construction of their team.
In Toronto it was nice to think about playing with a bunch of amorophous 6-foot-8 guys, but sometimes it’s better to have a traditional 7-foot center on the floor. They added one in Jakob Poeltl. He’s started 10 of 11 games with Toronto and they’re 6-4 in that stretch. He seems to have made their offense make more sense and Fred VanVleet is excelling in pick-and-roll with him, but their offensive rating is actually worse in these last 10 compared to the season.
The Lakers sent out Russell Westbrook and got back D’Angelo Russell, but that wasn’t the important part of the trade. They also got Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley who have completely stabilized them on the defensive end. Even without Lebron for some of this stretch, they are 7-3 in their last 10 and have the best defensive rating in the NBA, 107.6 since that trade. I’ll take the under in this one with their defense playing its best all season.
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