Eastern Conference rivals Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors collide in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. Here's a comprehensive preview of this matchup, complete with NBA picks.
Regular Season and Head-to-Head Preview
The Toronto Raptors finished the season with a 49-33 record to clinch the Atlantic Division while the Washington Wizards finished second in the Southeast Division behind a 46-36 record.
In their last ten, the Raptors went 7-3 SU while the Wizards went 6-4 SU. Home form on the season is solid in both camps: Raptors went 27-14 SU and 17-24 ATS, while the Wizards were slightly better with a 29-12 SU record but a similar 17-23-1 ATS record. On the road, the Raptors went 22-19 and 20-20-1 ATS for a positive overall record, meanwhile the Wizards went a subpar 17-24 SU and ATS.
Head-to-head record this season: the Raptors swept the series winning all three games, twice at home and once on the road. On November 7, the Raptors beat the Wizards 103-84 all while matched as the 4-point favourites against the spread. January 31 the pair renewed hostilities in Washington, only for the Raptors to clinch the road win 120-116 all while matched as the 5-point underdogs (or thereabouts depending on your sportsbook of choice. Finally, the series wrapped up in Toronto with the hosts winning a narrow 95-93, but failing to cover as the 5-point home chalk.
The Raptors are making their second straight playoff appearance, looking to improve of last season's first round exit to Brooklyn (3-4). Washington Wizards, meanwhile, will be buoyed by last season's run into the Eastern Conference semi-finals (l. to Indiana 2-4) and looking to go one step further.
NBA Playoff Odds Preview: No. 4 Raptors vs. No. 5 Wizards
The Toronto Raptors enter the NBA Playoffs smack in the middle of the mix on the basketball betting odds board. They are the outside NBA pick to win it all at +3300 NBA odds (Table 1) and the equally midway NBA pick to win the Eastern Conference at +1200 NBA odds (Table 2).
The Washington Wizards enter the NBA Playoffs at the slightly greater disadvantage, priced at a whopping +6600 NBA odds to win it all and at +1800 NBA odds to win the Eastern Conference.
Breaking Down the Series:
Washington Wizards +160 To Win Series
Toronto Raptors -180 To Win Series
NBA Betting Verdict:
On the merit of these NBA odds as a whole, these two teams chances are pretty even in the broad spectrum of the competition. As far as this series goes, one has to concede Toronto have the considerable edge over Washington, with both home advantage as well as sweeping the regular season series. Hence, their firm -180 NBA odds to win the series.
The Raptors almost clinched the third seed in the playoffs, but there are those Raptors' fans that would concede their fourth seeding has its advantages; namely avoiding the odds makers' favourites to win it all, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the next round. Assuming the Raptors survive the first round, they're most likely to face the Hawks (or, to a lesser extent, the Nets). Either of which presents a more favourable matchup for the Raptors.
Toronto's high-scoring offense is more than a match for Washington's top five defense, as evinced, once again, by their 3-0 SU record this season. Raptors' defense can be a touch nervy while Wizards' offense does go MIA from time to time. Given their strengths and weakness on both sides of the ball, they play an entirely different game. So far, it's favoured the Raptors in the regular season. With postseason glory on the line, will it prove to be so again?
All in all, these two teams should serve up a riveting series in the first round of the NBA playoffs for basketball fans to sink their teeth into. Neither side is infallible, so this could go either way. For our money, were banking on the Raptors on our NBA picks.
NBA Picks: Raptors to win in six