The Toronto Raptors close out a successful 2018-19 regular season with one final road game on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Clinching Second Seed
Toronto has already clinched the #2 spot in the Eastern Conference. They now await which of either the Detroit Pistons or the Orlando Magic they will face in round one of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. Despite that, the Raptors have continued to play to win, winning five out of their last six games.
Kawhi Leonard leads Toronto with 26.7 points per game while also adding 7.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The vastly-improved Pascal Siakam is scoring 17.0 points and grabbing 6.9 rebounds while also issuing 3.9 dimes per contest. Serge Ibaka is putting up 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry leads the Raptors with 8.7 assists per game while also scoring 14.2 points per outing.
The Raptors rank 7th in the league in scoring at 114.4 points per game scored. Toronto is #13 in passing with 25.4 assists per game and they are also #17 off the glass with 45.1 rebounds per game. The Raptors have the 9th best scoring defense in the entire NBA at 108.5 opponent points per game allowed.
Odds from bodog as of 4/09/19
Back To The Drawing Board
The Minnesota Timberwolves are back to the drawing board. After making the playoffs last season for the first time since the Kevin Garnett era but after trading the disgruntled Jimmy Butler at the start of the current season, they have struggled and are now out of the playoff picture once again. If there’s any consolation though, it’s that the Wolves are 25-15 SU at home.
Karl Anthony Towns leads Minnesota with 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Andrew Wiggins is scoring 18.0 points, grabbing 4.8 rebounds and coming up with one steal per game. The rejuvenated Derrick Rose is scoring 18.0 points and issuing 4.3 dimes per contest while Taj Gibson and Dario Saric are combining for 21.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game.
Minnesota is ranked #13 in team scoring at 112. 9 points per game. The Wolves are ranked 15th in passing at 24.6 assists per contest. The Timberwolves are 18th off the glass with 45.0 rebounds per game. They are also 24th in the league in scoring defense at 114.1 opponent points allowed per game.
Toronto is 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played. The Raptors are 4-1 SU in their last five games on the road. The Timberwolves are 4-6 SU in their last 10 games played. Minnesota is 2-5 SU in their last seven games played at home. Head to head, the Raptors are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games against the Timberwolves. Toronto is also 9-4 SU in their last 13 games played in Minnesota.
This one’s a no-bearing game so it’s really hard to tell who wants this game more although it does appear that Nick Nurse wants his team to remain sharp in preparation for the playoffs. That’s probably why Toronto is still 7-3 SU in their last 10 games and still winning games despite already being assured of the #2 position in the East.
Minnesota is without Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Jerry Bayless and Luol Deng who are all on the injured list. However, I expect Nick Nurse to limit his big guns in the final two games of the season so this should be a close game. Toronto though, has plenty of firepower and should have more than enough weapons to beat the Wolves who are probably looking ahead at their vacation. I’m picking the Toronto Raptors to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves on 4/9/19.
Other Bets To Make
The Raptors are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games played. Toronto is 4-1 ATS in their last five games played on the road. The Timberwolves are 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games played. Minnesota is 3-4 ATS in their last seven games played at home. Head to head, the Wolves are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the Raptors.
Odds from betonline.ag as of 4/09/19
Toronto is 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings between these teams. However, the Raptors are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 road games against the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are 4-1 ATS in their last five games when playing on one day rest and 4-1 ATS in their last five games when their opponent scores 100 or more points in their previous game. Toronto has been successful playing in Minnesota. The Wolves are missing too many players to compete even with a Toronto team that may be resting its key players for the playoffs. Prediction: Raptors -6.5
The over is 5-3-2 in Toronto’s last 10 games played. The total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 road games played by the Raptors. The over is 5-2 in the Timberwolves’ last seven games played. The total has also gone over in five out of the last six home games played by the Timberwolves. The over is also 6-2 in the last eight head to head meetings between these two teams and the over is 5-0 in the last five games between these teams in Minnesota.
O 229.5 -110
U 229.5 -110
Odds from betonline.ag as of 4/09/19
Toronto has a Top 10 offense while Minnesota has a bottom 5 defense so even if they don’t play their big guns the whole game, the Raptors are just going to keep on scoring here. With plenty of firepower at their disposal, I don’t think the Raptors will think of playing defense here. Instead, they will look to polish their shots in preparation for the playoffs. Toronto in a high scoring game here. Prediction: Over 229.5