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Can DeRozan Lift Underdog Spurs Over The Raptors?

Spurs vs Raptors Betting Odds

The return of DeMar DeRozan to Toronto will always be special for Raptors fans and his San Antonio Spurs are playing the third in a four-game road swing. The Raps got some good news that shooting guard Norman Powell is cleared to play, while Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol are listed as questionable but unlikely to play.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Toronto Raptors

Opening Odds Analysis

The Raptors kicked this one off as four-point favorites despite the lineup uncertainty; it's the fourth straight time they've been favored at home, though they're just 1-2 ATS in the previous three. The total opened at 221.

San Antonio Spurs News & Notes

The Spurs have done what they've needed to do at home to remain in the hunt for a Western Conference wild-card berth – but their road performance this season has been positively dreadful. San Antonio comes into Toronto having won just five of its first 17 games away from AT&T Center, with a -2.8 net rating and a -2.7 scoring differential over that stretch.

DeRozan will be pivotal to helping the Spurs improve those horrid road statistics – and he has played some truly inspired basketball against the team that drafted him ninth overall back in 2009. DeRozan has averaged 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists in two meetings with the Raptors, shooting nearly 52 percent from the field in the process.

Toronto Raptors News & Notes

Dec. 18 was a very, very bad day for the Raptors, who saw Powell (shoulder), Siakam (groin) and Gasol (hamstring) all hit the sidelines; none of them have played since. But Powell will make his return Sunday evening while Siakam and Gasol have officially been listed as questionable – though head coach Nick Nurse suggested it might be "optimistic" to expect both to return.

But the Raptors have gamely held their own over that span, going 6-5 SU (5-6 ATS) with three of their five defeats coming by five or fewer points. And even if their talented trio isn't quite ready to see game action quite yet, its imminent return will provide significant relief for a Raptors team that will play seven of their next 11 games after Sunday away from Scotiabank Arena.

Betting Pick: Toronto -4

At the very least, Powell's return should invigorate a Toronto lineup that could desperately use the help – and with the Spurs having yet to figure out how to succeed on the road, we like the home team to prevail (though not necessarily cover).

Shark Bites
  • San Antonio is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games.
  • Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 home games vs. San Antonio.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in San Antonio's last 7 games.