The Toronto Raptors try to stay above .500 as they begin a six-game road trip against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, 10:00 PM EST, at Moda Center.
BetUS has released the odds for Monday night’s jampacked schedule around the association. As viewed below, it’s looking like the Blazers will enter the game with a 2-point handicap even with Damian Lillard listed as day-to-day.
Toronto Raptors vs Portland Trail Blazers Betting Lines and Odds
ATS: Raptors +2
Moneyline: Raptors +210, Blazers -177
Toronto Raptors vs Portland Trail Blazers Team News
Eric Koreen of the Athletic said the Raptors decided to start Goran Dragic on Saturday once they learned that Fred VanVleet could not play due to a groin injury. Dragic, who the Raptors acquired in the Kyle Lowry trade to Miami, tallied 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 28 minutes. Toronto still lost to the Detroit Pistons, 127-121. However, seeing Dragic playing extended minutes on the floor provides a breath of fresh air for the Raptors.
“Dragic may still be unlikely to finish the season with Toronto, Koreen adds, but he provides creativity and can be useful on a fill-in basis,” Koreen writes.
Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said he now strongly considers tweaking his lineup following a disappointing 29-point blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets. The first-year head coach expressed his displeasure on his team’s effort right off the bat, which allowed Denver to build an already commanding lead at the end of the first quarter.
“I’m confused,” Billups said in an interview with Jason Quick of the Athletic. “I don’t think we came to compete in this game. I mean, this is a team that beat us in the playoffs last year. And we come out and don’t even compete in the first quarter. Kind of … a little disappointed in that. The effort. Just no fight. No fight.”
Toronto Raptors vs Portland Trail Blazers Injury Report
Raptors: Fred VanVleet – Questionable (Groin), Chris Boucher – OUT (Back), Yuta Watanabe – OUT (Calf), Precious Achiuwa – Questionable (Shoulder)
Blazers: Damian Lillard – Questionable (Abdominal Strain)
Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers Preview
After racking up five straight wins, the Raptors now lost four of their last five games to put them a loss away below .500. Last week, Pascal Siakam completed his comeback from a shoulder injury after using the first weeks of the season to fully recover. The former All-Star delivered his best game since returning last Saturday when he finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists in 35 minutes.
The Blazers, meanwhile, are coming off a lackluster performance against the Nuggets. With Lillard out, Portland never stood a chance against their playoff conquerors last season, allowing Denver to score 33 points all in the first quarter. CJ McCollum paced his team with 21 points, while Anfernee Simmons added 16 points in the 124-95 loss.
Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction
The Raptors have a legitimate shot at winning their latest matchup against the Blazers, with Lillard still nursing an injury. Sunday’s loss to the Nuggets exposed Portland’s dependency on Lillard’s ability to create shots for himself and his teammates. Moreover, Toronto’s core is becoming healthy again as Siakam begins to show signs he’s ready to play at least 30 minutes per game.
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Toronto’s last 10 games against an opponent in the Northwest Division division. The same goes for Portland as the total has gone UNDER in 8 of the team’s last 12 games played in November.
Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Pick
Pick: Raptors cover, UNDER
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Source: Basketball Insider