Thank heavens for the Toronto Raptors. They’re the gift that keeps on giving, always underappreciated by the betting public, yet outperforming expectations on a regular basis.
Most casual fans south of the 49th Parallel don’t watch and don’t care, and this gives Toronto that sweet, sweet “small-market” betting value we need for our NBA picks.
And it just so happens the Raptors are in action this Saturday. They’re visiting the Atlanta Hawks for a late afternoon game –the only game that seems to have any player props attached as we go to press.
Toronto Raptors vs. Atlanta Hawks
Saturday, November 19, 2022 – 06:00 PM EST at State Farm Arena
If you’re a Rapophile like myself, you’ll already know that Toronto’s defense is great at just about everything –open 3-point shooters aside. The Raptors lead the league in both steals and turnover percentage, switching relentlessly and using their long limbs to their advantage.
Sadly, only two Raptors have been assigned a total for steals this Saturday: Fred VanVleet and O.G. Anunoby. The over/under is 1.5 for each, with VanVleet getting -110 juice for the Over and Anunoby -125 at the NBA odds boards.
- Over/Under 1.5 Steals
- Over/Under 3.5 Rebounds
We’re going to take VanVleet for this one. The fine folks at FantasyData have him collecting 1.65 steals against the Hawks; Anunoby only projects for 1.41, so we’re not too keen on paying negative vig for that wager.
I suppose that inflated price could be because Anunoby leads the entire NBA in steals at 2.5 per game. He’s actually third on the team behind Khem Birch (3.2) and Otto Porter Jr (2.7) when you make it steals per 36 minutes. Then again, O.G. leads the league in steal rate, as per Basketball Reference.
Speaking of Porter, it does help our cause that he is one of several light-fingered Raptors on the injured list:
- PF Pascal Siakam (groin)
- PF Precious Achiuwa (ankle)
- SG Gary Trent Jr (hip)
- SF Otto Porter Jr (foot)
- SF Dalano Banton (ankle)
- C Chris Boucher (illness)
The last four players in this group are all considered day-to-day, but reports at press time confirm that Trent, Banton and Boucher are out –no update on Porter yet after he missed Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat.
Anyway, all these missing persons will force VanVleet to carry more of the load this Sunday. We know he’s capable: Fred leads the team at 36.7 minutes per game, and he put in 39:16 versus Miami after sitting out the previous two contests.
Here’s another thing the Raptors are really good at: offensive rebounding. Most teams have turned their attention away from this aspect of the game, Four Factors be damned, but Toronto has other ideas. They’re third in the league in both offensive rebounds and rebound rate.
While an Offensive Rebounds prop would be lovely, Total Rebounds is the prop they’re giving us, and again, VanVleet (3.5 boards, Over +100) and Anunoby (6.5 boards, Over -119) are the only Raptors listed.
Go figure, it looks like we’ll be putting our hard-earned loonies and twonies on VanVleet again. He’s projected for 3.63 rebounds, and Anunoby for 5.43.
Given that he’s listed at a generous 6-foot-1, VanVleet doesn’t look like someone who’s going to clean the glass very often. But he’s been good for 3.4 rebounds per 36 minutes this year, and with all these injuries, VanVleet will probably be called on for something closer to 40 minutes this Saturday.
NBA Pick: Fred VanVleet Over 3.5 Rebounds (+100) at Bovada
- Over/Under 2.5 Assists
Let’s give O.G. some love too. He’s really stepped up these past few games while Siakam has been out, showing improved decision-making when he’s driving to the basket –including some nice dishes here and there.
Anunoby’s total of 2.5 assists for Sunday’s matchup is definitely within reach, and the Over is getting a healthy +140 vig. Each of his last three games ended with exactly three assists. Delightful.
The Hawks have a pretty good defensive backcourt now that they have Dejounte Murray, holding opponents to 22.8 assists per game; only five teams have been less generous this year. But we’ll buy this prop for a dollar at +139. It’s just the right thing to do.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.