Raptors vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Toronto Raptors complete the Los Angeles circuit and their Western Conference road trip tonight after falling to both the Denver Nuggets and the L.A. Clippers prior to tonight’s game against the L.A. Lakers. They head home for a long weekend after tonight’s game with their next game on Tuesday when they host the Nuggets.
Can the Lakers extend their two-game win streak and send the Raptors home with their third consecutive loss? Let’s dive into my picks and predictions for Raptors vs. Lakers.
The Raptors are relatively healthy right now with Will Barton (illness — probable) and Otto Porter (toe — injured) as the only two players on their injury report.
Since the Raptors acquired Jakob Poeltl from the Spurs, they’ve played a month’s worth of games and are 6-5 with a Net Rating of -2.3. The defense has been relatively strong (114.2); however, they have struggled to score (112.0).
This is nothing new for Toronto. They have been one of the worst offensive teams in the league from a shot profile perspective. They take the majority of their shots from midrange, but do not get to the rim at a high percentage nor do they take many 3-pointers. Admittedly, these are shots the Lakers give up.
The Lakers allow midrange opportunities and opponents shoot 44.1% from midrange, which is below the league average. With the acquisition of Poeltl, this will be where the Raptors continue to live offensively.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers should have their point guard back as D’Angelo Russell (ankle) is probable for tonight’s contest. Anthony Davis (foot) is also listed as probable while both Mo Bamba (ankle) and LeBron James (foot) continue to be out with injuries.
The Lakers have been much improved since the trade deadline and have played well over the last few weeks. Over the last two weeks, the Lakers are 4-2 with a +1.5 point differential. They’ve struggled offensively but have the second-best defense over this stretch allowing just 108.9 points per 100 possessions. Russell’s return should help the offense even at some defensive cost; however, Dennis Schroder is not exactly a defensive maestro anyway.
Russell’s return is significant — he and Davis have played 207 possessions together and the Lakers have a +11.1 point differential in those possessions. When both Russell and James have not been on the floor with Davis, the Lakers’ point differential has fallen to +2.6, per Cleaning the Glass. This makes sense as Davis is not a facilitator and having someone feed him offensively is very helpful for his game.
In Davis’ four games since LeBron has gone down with an injury, he has been transcendent. He has averaged 33.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.8 blocks. The Lakers will need all of his contributions tonight against a Raptors team that he has struggled against schematically with Nick Nurse as the coach; however, they have not faced off since May of 2021.
The Raptors took the first matchup between these two teams earlier in the season in a 126-113 victory. While the Raptors’ lineup looks more or less the same with Poeltl being inserted over Christian Koloko at center, the Lakers will be starting an entirely different lineup as they had none of Russell, Malik Beasley, Davis, or Jarred Vanderbilt for the prior matchup in Toronto.
Situationally, this is a bad spot for the Raptors. It’s a getaway game from a West Coast road trip after spending multiple days in L.A. Additionally, they have struggled on the road, going just 14-20 ATS and 12-22 Straight Up.
I expect the Lakers to welcome back Russell’s offense, and use his 3-point shooting ability to stretch the floor against the Raptors who have allowed opponents to shoot 41% from 3 since Poeltl’s acquisition.