New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors NBA Game Information
New Orleans Pelicans (0-0) vs Toronto Raptors(0-0)
Date: Wednesday, December 23
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Amalie Arena – Tampa, Florida
TV Coverage: FSNO
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors Moneyline, Spread, Total, and Odds
Moneyline: Pelicans +148 Raptors -176
Spread: Pelicans +4 (-110) Raptors -4 (-110)
Total 228.5 (-110)
Odds to Win NBA Championship: Pelicans +8500 Raptors +2200
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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors News and Notes
The Toronto Raptors open with their home opener away from home. Because of COVID-19 restrictions in Canada, the Raptors have been forced to use the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, as their dino den. The Raptors will dress up Amalie to look as much like Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena as possible. The Toronto arena’s floor will be featured in Tampa, as well as the 2019 NBA championship banner hanging from the rafters. Whether they can improve last year’s 53-19 record and second place in the East finish playing away from home remains seen.
Last year, in real Toronto, the Raptors disposed of New Orleans 130-122 in overtime for the season opener. The middle game of a three-game win streak for Toronto over the Pelicans went back to March 2019. The Raptors covered in all three games and have met the spread in five of their past seven against New Orleans. In fact, the Pelicans have just five covers and a push in their past 21 meetings with the Raps.
Toronto isn’t so different than the team New Orleans saw last season. The two biggest losses just happened to be two of the biggest players on the team. Both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol headed to the two different LA teams. To plug up the middle, Toronto brought in Aron Baynes and Alex Len. The Raptors are hoping new face; rookie Malachi Flynn can make an impact in the backcourt. The freshman has looked great in the preseason.
Familiar faces Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet will again lead the offense. The threesome accounted for nearly 60 points per game last season. The Raptors are also hoping fourth-year man OG Anunoby can have a breakout year. Norm Powell will also be a factor for the Raptors off the bench and is expected to have an expanded role this season. Powell will be a game-time decision tonight if he can clear COVID protocol.
The Pelicans will again hope to have a healthy Zion Williams lead the team. In his first campaign last year, Zion played in just 24 games after missing the first part of the season following knee surgery. Williamson did put up 22.5 points per game down the stretch while playing only 27 minutes a game. The minute restrictions will be gone under new Head Coach Stan Van Gundy this season.
The other new faces in New Orleans come on the court. Center Steven Adams will now patrol the paint while point guard Eric Bledsoe comes over from Milwaukee. Gone are Derrick Favors and probably their best all-around player, Jrue Holiday. In addition to Williamson, the Pelicans will lean heavily again on Brandon Ingram. Ingram led the team with 23.8 points per game in last year’s 30-42 season.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors Predictions and Picks
- Raptors cover -4 (-110)
- Raptors Moneyline (-176)
- OG Anunoby over 11.5 points scored (-122)
- Zion Williamson under 25.5 points scored (-116)