Raptors vs. Nets NBA Picks: How to Bet Toronto’s Visit to Brooklyn

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Fred VanVleet #20 of the Toronto Raptors. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets square off in a marquee matchup in the Big Apple. The Brooklyn Nets are favored by the NBA odds but are they the right NBA pick

Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at Barclays Center 

Toronto Raptors 

The Toronto Raptors missed the playoffs last season, but they were able to grab a great lottery pick to help their team bounce back into contention this season. Scottie Barnes was a surprise choice at the fourth selection, but he has proved to be the smart selection averaging 15 points and eight rebounds while providing excellent defense.

Barnes is another long athletic wing that Raptors president Masai Ujiri has stacked his team with. Barnes will be in the frontcourt with Pascal Siakam. Siakam has a strong offensive repertoire, scoring 19 points per game. The Raptors will be without their other athletic wing, OG Anunoby. Anunoby is still out with a hip injury until at least December 20th. 

The Raptors' loss of Kyle Lowry in free agency means that they've turned over the PG duties to Fred VanVleet. VanVleet is a clutch scorer and also a strong defender. VanVleet's excellent play has helped mitigate the loss of Kyle Lowry and keep the Raptors in the playoff hunt. 

Gary Trent Jr. also plays a big role for the Raptors, especially on offense. Trent Jr. is definitely capable of creating his own shot and the Raptors often look to him towards the end of the shot clock to create off the dribble and get an open look.

Trent Jr. is also a capable catch-and-shoot scorer that helps space the floor on offense. Trent Jr. has been a welcome addition to a Raptors team that is well balanced on both ends of the floor. 

Brooklyn Nets 

The Nets do very well against everybody except for the league's elite. Discounting a loss to the Rockets, in which James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge both sat, the Nets have only lost to the Bulls, the Warriors, the Suns, and the 76ers. The Nets are doing a great job of winning the games that they are supposed to win. 

Nets coach Steve Nash has benefited from the experience he gained last year. Nash is looking much more competent on the sideline leading a team of superstars. Nash has done a great job in helping James Harden come along and find his groove after showing up to camp out of shape due to an offseason spent healing injuries he incurred during the previous season.

Nash's level-headed and even-handed approach to the minutes played and the expectations of the players on his team have created an environment for the players to consistently improve and get ready for the challenges they will face during the playoffs. 

The play of LaMarcus Aldridge has been the most pleasant surprise for the Nets this season. Aldridge was struggling to get minutes last year, but this year he is the team's third-leading scorer. The Nets have come to rely on his mid-range jump shot to provide an additional offensive threat and not leave the whole burden of the offense on Durant and Harden.

Aldridge is also a very strong rebounder which helps the Nets defense. Aldridge clearing defensive rebounds helps the Nets get out in transition, and makes the Nets defense stronger than it appeared to be last season. 

Key Matchup 

Kevin Durant vs. Pascal Siakam 

These players will probably avoid each other for the first three quarters but then check each other in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. Both players lead their teams on the defensive end and this should be a very interesting matchup for the fans to watch.

If Durant is able to shut down Siakam, the Raptors will have problems keeping pace. If Siakam is able to have a big offensive night in spite of the Nets' best efforts, the Raptors have a great chance to cover the spread or even win outright. 

Best Bet 

The Nets only lose to the elite teams and the Raptors are not yet elite. While the Raptors can give the Nets some problems, for the most part, the Nets are head and shoulders above Toronto. That being said the 8.5 points of NBA odds is too much for a competitive Raptors team that is getting better as the season ensues. For your best bets, take the points, take the Raptors. 

NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +8.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Toronto Raptors +8.5 (-110)
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*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.