The Toronto Raptors return to action for the first time in 145 days when they take on the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Arena in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The defending champion Raptors (46-18) have not played an official game since beating the Jazz on March 9, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to shut down. Prior to the stoppage Toronto had won four straight. Meanwhile the Lakers (50-14) are coming off a 103-101 victory against the rival Clippers on Thursday, the first night of the NBA's restart.
Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Los Angeles as a 2.5-point favorite. The over-under is 223 in the latest Raptors vs. Lakers odds. Before making any Lakers vs. Raptors picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned over $4,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season. It also was a blistering 52-32 on all top-rated NBA spread picks before the coronavirus shutdown, returning almost $1,700 on those picks alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Raptors spread: Lakers -2.5
- Lakers vs. Raptors over-under: 223 points
- Lakers vs. Raptors money line: Lakers -140, Raptors +120
- LA: Lakers lead the NBA in field-goal percentage (48.3)
- TOR: Raptors rank second in the NBA in defensive efficiency (104.9 points per 100 possessions)
Why the Lakers can cover
Unlike Toronto, LeBron James & Co. have an official game under their belt after the NBA restart. The Lakers came out on fire in Thursday's matchup against the rival Clippers, were forced to rally from behind and eventually won on James' late bucket. The Raptors won't have the benefit of having a game to knock off the rust.
In addition, Anthony Davis dominated Toronto in the first matchup between the teams this season. Davis made 10-of-20 shots, including 2-of-5 on 3-pointers, scored 27 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots in that game. Davis also played well in Thursday's return to action, scoring a game-high 34 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
Why the Raptors can cover
Toronto has dominated the Lakers in recent seasons. The Raptors have won 10 straight games against L.A. dating to March 27, 2015. The average score in those games has been 110-97.
The winning streak includes a 113-104 Toronto win at the Staples Center earlier this season. In that game Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined for 47 points. In addition the Raptors, who played without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka in that contest, limited James to 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
How to make Lakers vs. Raptors picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, as only three total players score more than 20 points in the simulation. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Raptors vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.