Lakers vs. Raptors odds, line: NBA picks, best predictions from model on 54-42 run

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will look to build on Tuesday's win, as they travel to Toronto to take on Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors on Thursday night. They will do so without the assistance of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, who have been shut down for the year. Toronto will be missing Fred VanVleet (thumb) and Serge Ibaka (suspension), meaning the recently-acquired Marc Gasol will have to step into the starting lineup and play big minutes. Tipoff for this one is set for 8 p.m. ET from the Scotiabank Arena. Sportsbooks list the Raptors as eight-point home favorites, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 231 in the latest Lakers vs. Raptors odds. Before you make any Lakers vs. Raptors picks, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 21 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 240-187 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 22 on a strong 54-42 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.

Now it has locked in on Lakers vs. Raptors. We can tell you it's leaning under, and it also says one side of the spread hits in 60 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.

The model is well aware of how how well Toronto matches up with the Lakers on paper. In addition to ranking higher than L.A. in every meaningful metric, Toronto is excellent at limiting the Lakers' strengths. For instance, the Lakers lead the NBA in points scored from within five feet of the rim, and Toronto's opponents have shot the fifth-lowest field goal percentage from within five feet. The absence of Serge Ibaka certainly hurts their rim protection, but Marc Gasol is also a capable shot-alterer at the rim.

They also have one of the few individual defenders actually equipped to deal with LeBron James in Kawhi Leonard. On top of all of the matchup data pointing in Toronto's favor, they simply have more motivation to win this game since the Raps are making a push for the Np. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference NBA playoff bracket.

Just because Toronto is the better team on paper, doesn't mean it will cover the Lakers vs. Raptors spread Thursday, however. 

The model is also well aware that Toronto has been one of the NBA's absolute worst teams against the spread. Their 41.8 percent cover rate against the spread is the NBA's third-worst mark, and that drops to just 37 percent when playing as a favorite. 

The Raptors have covered just three of their past 12 games entering Thursday's action, making it clear that Vegas has been overvaluing them. While Toronto is coming off of an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Cavaliers, the Lakers are coming off of a 16-point road victory over the Chicago Bulls. Can they carry that momentum into this matchup with the Raptors?

So who wins Raptors vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread can you bank on in 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Raptors vs. Lakers spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.

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