Livin’ on a prayer. The Toronto Raptors’ lengthy seven-game road trip is more than halfway there heading into tonight’s matchup against the Utah Jazz. The road trip has perfectly encapsulated the Raptors’ roller-coaster season, rotating wins and losses through the first four games.
The Raps have been one of the most inconsistent teams in basketball and it has resulted in a disappointing season to this point. Now the NBA is waiting on bated breath to see whether Masai Ujiri will blow the team up with next week’s trade deadline looming.
Tonight, their focus is on a Jazz team that has played well at home this season. Do the Raps have a prayer to cover this 3-point spread?
I break it all down and bring you my best bet in my NBA betting picks and predictions for the Raptors vs. Jazz on February 1.
Raptors vs Jazz best odds
Raptors vs Jazz picks and predictions
Whether you are backing them or fading them, the Toronto Raptors have been a frustrating team to bet on this season. This is mainly due to the fact that you never know what you are going to get out of them on a game-to-game basis.
One night Toronto looks like it can beat anyone in the NBA, and the next the Raptors have you wondering if they should be in the running for Victor Wembanyama.
Two of the biggest problems the Raps have — besides their inconsistent shooting — are their struggles on the boards and their lack of perimeter defense. Toronto ranked 21st when it came to rebounding rate in the month of January. When it comes to defending beyond the arc, the Raps rank second-to-last in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
This looks like a great spot to back Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen to record a double-double.
Markkanen has likely earned himself a spot in his first All-Star game. He is averaging 24.9 points while shooting 43.2% from 3-point range while adding 8.6 rebounds per game. Those rebounding totals are also up to 9.7 over the Finnish power forward's last 15 games.
Utah's versatile big man has recorded 19 double-doubles in 47 games played this season but eight of those have come in the last 15 games. He was also on a streak where he had recorded five consecutive double-doubles prior to the last two contests.
Markkanen looks like a bad matchup for the Raptors at the moment, so backing him at decent plus money to record another double-double is a solid bet.
My best bet: Lauri Markkanen double-double (+135 at PointsBet)
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Raptors vs Jazz spread analysis
The Raptors opened tonight's matchup as 3-point underdogs. Part of the reason for that is the Raptors' inconsistent play. Their results are more back-and-forth than a yo-yo. This is a team that has been known for its defense, yet they ranked 18th in defensive rating for the month of January and have given up the second-highest rate of made 3-pointers for the season.
On top of that, they will once again be without their top defender O.G. Anunoby, who will sit this one out with a wrist injury.
Meanwhile, even though the Jazz are a solid 17-9 at home this season, they are just 7-10 against the spread as a home favorite. Those uneven results are likely due to a defense that ranks 25th in rating and 26th in opponent field goal percentage.
I could see a blowout win for either club, or anything in between. That means no spread bet for me here.
Raptors vs Jazz Over/Under analysis
The total for this matchup hasn’t seen much action either, as it still sits at the opening number of 230.5. But unlike the spread, I’ve got a lean on the total.
For starters, the Jazz are a solid team at cashing the Over. Utah ranks fourth in offensive rating and 25th in defensive rating. Their 119.5 points per game at home is also the seventh-best in the NBA.
Meanwhile, Toronto is without its best lockdown defender in Anunoby. As a result, the Raptors are allowing 115.8 points per game over the last 10 games.
All the while, the Raps' offense has picked up the slack. A lot of that has to do with Fred VanVleet picking up his play of late as Toronto ranks ninth in scoring over the last 10 games (117 ppg).
I would lean toward the Over tonight.
Raptors vs Jazz betting trend to know
The Over is 8-2 in Toronto's last 10 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Jazz.
Raptors vs Jazz game info
|Location:||Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, UT|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 1, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|