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Raptors Set to Extend Winning Streak vs Lakers

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors in action during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Toronto Raptors have the unique distinction of remaining the defending NBA champions into the month of August – and they'd love nothing more than to defend their 2019-20 title as they resume regular-season play Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Raptors sit second in the East, and will look to extend their winning streak over L.A. to an incredible 11 games.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors
  • Date/Time: August 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: The Arena (WWOS)
  • TV Coverage: ESPN, SPSN, SN1
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -3.5 | O/U 217 (Line History)
  • Lakers vs Raptors Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers opened as 3 1/2-point favorites in their second game since the re-start, and can be found anywhere from -2.5 to -3.5 at the majority of sportsbooks. The total of 217 has risen a point-and-a-half since it opened.

Los Angeles Lakers News & Notes

It wasn't pretty, but it worked. The Lakers showed plenty of rust in their return from the COVID-19 layoff, shooting 39 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc while committing 16 turnovers. But they came through when it mattered, as LeBron James' late layup led them past the rival Clippers 103-101 (though they fell short of the cover as a 4-point favorite).

One game in the bubble certainly doesn't make a trend, but it's interesting to note that Thursday's game fell well UNDER the total of 220. Los Angeles has cashed the UNDER in four straight games overall, and should be a popular UNDER play again Saturday despite an incredibly high-scoring Friday night slate in which all six games produced in excess of 229 total points.

Toronto Raptors News & Notes

The Raptors are almost fully healthy for the re-start, which is a welcome reprieve for a team that has been riddled with key injuries all season long. Those injuries almost certainly played a significant role in Toronto's consistent struggles against elite competition; the Raptors come in having gone just 11-14 SU against teams above .500 so far this season.

The key to a successful return will be the two-way play of team scoring leader Pascal Siakam, who will be looking to improve on an already-impressive showing against the Lakers earlier this year. Siakam poured in 24 points and added 11 rebounds in a 113-104 Raptors win back on Nov. 10 – and it could have been even better, as he shot just 1-for-8 from 3-point range.

Betting Pick: Raptors ATS

The Raptors' health, depth and relative freshness, combined with the Lakers still getting their game legs back, makes Toronto a relatively safe cover pick here.

Shark Bites
  • LA Lakers are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games against Toronto.
  • Toronto is 4-1 ATS in its last five games when playing as the underdog.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of LA Lakers' last 9 games this season.