Mammoth Value? Toronto Raptors NBA Title Odds At 40-1 Despite 11-Game Win Streak

Posted By Chris Sheridan on February 3, 2020 - Last Updated on February 19, 2020

Editors note: Title odds for the Raptors dropped to +2500 less than 24 hours after this article was posted.

The second-longest winning streak in the NBA this season belongs to the Toronto Raptors, who went to the NBA Finals last season when the NBA made some sort of sense.

Kawhi Leonard is not there anymore, but lo and behold “The North” is home to a team that looks as though they do not miss the player who makes basketball look extraordinarily easy.

With a 129-102 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Toronto moved two full games ahead of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat for second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks, who won 18 in a row earlier this season. Get this: the Raps are on pace to eclipse last season’s win total.

So why haven’t the legalized sports gambling markets in the US lowered their odds? The explanation lower in this column might surprise you.

Odds for a repeat

Toronto is listed at +4000 at DraftKings Sportsbook and +3600 at FanDuel Sportsbook as those entities count their money following the SuperBowl.

“Those are some odds,” said Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, who has been covering the franchise since its inception. “I believe they are legitimate contenders for the title because they still have the guts of what won a championship. They’ve got hard-minded guys, especially Pascal Siakam, who is fearless. And they went through 10 games last year not knowing what would become of them, and they won them and had extended postseason success.

“The top six guys are all integral to their success — six guys who really know what they are doing,” Smith said.

The catalyst Sunday was Terrence Davis, a rookie from Ole Miss who scored a career-high 31 points to back six other players in double figures. Toronto was without linchpin Marc Gasol, who missed his second straight game with a sore hamstring.

They have perhaps the best one-two guard punch in the East with Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Vleet, last year’s Most Improved Player in Siakam, and enough depth to go nearly as deep as they once did before Nick Nurse replaced Duane Casey.

“I like their players. They are loaded,” said Johnny Avello of DraftKings Sportsbook, who revealed why the Raptors are sitting at such a lucrative price to win the title (although they are now +140 to win the Atlantic Division).

At 16-9, the Raptors have the second-best Against The Spread (ATS) home record in the NBA (Miami is 16-8). Overall, their 28-20 record against the spread is third behind Oklahoma City, a ridiculous 34-16, and Boston (29-17-2).

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So why the disrespect?

“You need to take bets sometimes,” said Avello, who noted that only three of the victories in the Raptors victory streak have come against strong teams: The Sixers, Thunder and Spurs. “So you keep a team higher in the futures pool sometimes because in a futures pool, you only pay out one winner. Because of where we are operating in the US, we’ve taken some action on the Sixers and Celtics to win, so we could use some money on the Rators.

“It’s sort of like balancing out the books a little bit. We’re not seeing too much; that’s why +4000 is probably higher than they should be.”

So there you go.

The books need Raptors action, and Raptors action is being offered at a very nice price. Teams with shorter odds include the favorites (the Bucks, Lakers and Clippers, all less than +340), the Sixers, Celtics, Jazz, Rockets, Nuggets and Mavericks.

Yes, that breeze you just felt was the collective gasp of Canadian readers viewing that previous sentence.

Look, at this time last year not many people were predicting a Toronto appearance in the NBA Finals, despite Kawhi’s greatness. But the ball took a few nice bounces, and we all know what happened after that.

This season, the easy pick is Kawhi’s new team, the Clippers, or LeBron’s quasi-new team, the Lakers, or Giannis’ team, the Bucks.

That is because it is February, and the trade deadline has not even come and gone yet. So if you believe in the Raptors – and make no mistake, they believe in themselves – there is probably not going to be a better time to get them at such an enticing price.

NBA title odds (August 14, 2020)

NBA Finals Winner

Game
09/06/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
LA Lakers
Bet now
+250
Bet now
+260
Bet now
+250
Milwaukee Bucks
Bet now
+250
Bet now
+240
Bet now
+250
LA Clippers
Bet now
+333
Bet now
+320
Bet now
+300
Houston
Bet now
+1400
Bet now
+1700
Bet now
+1200
Toronto
Bet now
+1800
Bet now
+2000
Bet now
+2000
Boston
Bet now
+2000
Bet now
+1800
Bet now
+1600
Philadelphia
Bet now
+2000
Bet now
+2000
Bet now
+2000
Denver
Bet now
+2500
Bet now
+2700
Bet now
+2500
Miami
Bet now
+3000
Bet now
+3300
Bet now
+3000
Utah
Bet now
+3300
Bet now
+3300
Bet now
+4000
Dallas
Bet now
+4500
Bet now
+3800
Bet now
+4000
Oklahoma City
Bet now
+8000
Bet now
+8500
Bet now
+10000
Portland
Bet now
+8000
Bet now
+16000
Bet now
+15000
Indiana
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+13000
Bet now
+8000
New Orleans
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+12500
Brooklyn
Bet now
+15000
Bet now
+19000
Bet now
+20000
Memphis
Bet now
+20000
Bet now
+21000
Bet now
+15000
Orlando
Bet now
+30000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+25000
San Antonio
Bet now
+30000
Bet now
+21000
Bet now
+50000
Washington
Bet now
+30000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+100000
Phoenix
Bet now
+50000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+100000
Sacramento
Bet now
+50000
Bet now
+25000
Bet now
+25000
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