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Raptors Aim For Sweep of Season Series With Pelicans

Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds Preview

It took the Toronto Raptors a little longer than expected to dispatch the New Orleans Pelicans in their season opener. They’ll look to make quicker work of the Pelicans this time around as they head to the Big Easy for a Friday night encounter – and the Pelicans could be helpless to prevent that if they don’t make significant strides at the defensive end.

Matchup Information
  • Toronto Raptors vs New Orleans Pelicans (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 8, 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: FSNO, TSN 1/4/5
  • Opening Odds: Toronto -4 | O/U 232 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Toronto opened as a 4-point road favorite, but that number tumbled to 2.5 in short order; the total opened at 232. The UNDER is 6-1-1 in the Raptors’ last eight games as a road fave, with each of those totals coming in below 230.

Toronto News & Notes

The Raptors were fortunate not to suffer a second consecutive defeat last time out, as they overcame their worst defensive showing of the season to prevail 124-120 over Sacramento. But surprisingly, they haven’t missed a beat despite losing Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers, with their +5.9 point differential only a fraction behind the +6.0 mark they posted last season.

One of the main reasons for the Raptors’ solid start to the season is the continued improvement of forward Pascal Siakam, who has emerged as one of the most electrifying players in the Eastern Conference. Siakam leads the Raptors in scoring (25.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg) while shooting 50 percent from the field and a red-hot 94.3 percent from the free-throw line.

New Orleans News & Notes

The Pelicans were in for a challenging season even with No. 1 pick Zion Williamson in the fold – but with their golden goose still sidelined due to injury, things have become downright depressing in Louisiana. New Orleans enters Friday’s game having allowed an average of 116.8 points per game, tied with the Phoenix Suns for the worst defense in the Western Conference.

There are, however, plenty of positives on the offensive end – and they’re a major reason why the Pelicans are one of the league’s top OVER options to date at 6-1 O/U. Brandon Ingram has assumed the mantle as team scoring leader with a whopping 26.9 points per game, and five other New Orleans players are averaging double figures in scoring.

Betting Pick: Raptors -2.5

While it’s tempting to ride Toronto’s road-favorite UNDER streak here, there’s no telling how high-scoring this one could end up given the Pelicans’ struggles on defense. We prefer taking the superior team to cover the small spread.

Shark Bites
  • Toronto is 12-4-1 ATS in its last 17 games.
  • New Orleans is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games vs Atlantic Division teams.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in New Orleans’ last 7 games.