Raptors vs Nets Picks and Predictions: Siakam Nets an Over

The Nets had a tough time containing the Pelicans' bigs on opening night, which makes us think Pascal Siakam's going to be a bad matchup for their defensively scant frontcourt. See why we're backing the Raptors star with our NBA picks.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
Oct 21, 2022 • 13:33 ET • 4 min read
Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors NBA picks
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Well. That didn’t take too long. Just one game into the new NBA season and Brooklyn Nets fans are already calling for head coach Steve Nash to get canned after an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

And if the Nets don’t watch out, they could get run out of the gym on Friday when they welcome the tenacious Toronto Raptors to the Barclay Center. Fueled by their high-effort defense, the Raptors began their season with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

NBA odds are showing concern for Brooklyn, setting them as just 2.5-point home favorites. But is that an overreaction to just one game? I break down the numbers and give you my best bet in NBA picks and predictions for this Atlantic Division matchup of Raptors vs. Nets on Friday, October 21.

Raptors vs Nets best odds

Raptors vs Nets picks and predictions

The Raptors showed exactly who they are in their season-opening win against the Cavaliers: A high-motor, high-IQ team that plays an elite, turnover-inducing style of defense, but is streaky on offense. 

Despite giving up a bunch of size to the likes of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, the Raptors were able to outrebound the Cavaliers, while forcing 16 turnovers. But while the Raps' inconsistent shooting had them down eight heading into the fourth quarter, Toronto was able to up the effort level one notch further and pulled out the victory.

Meanwhile, things couldn’t have been much worse for the Nets against the Pelicans, particularly after an offseason that was as tumultuous as theirs.

The Nets were straight bullied by the Pels in their opener. New Orleans got pretty much every shot it wanted, going 50-for-102 from the floor and dominating the Nets on the glass, outrebounding them 61-39. It was ugly.

Their issues containing forwards were quite apparent. Zion Williamson put up 25 points and nine rebounds, while Brandon Ingram had 28 and 7. Heck, even bench players Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr. each grabbed nine boards while scoring 16 and eight points respectively. 

To me, that means a guy like Pascal Siakam will be a problem. Siakam is coming off an All-NBA season and picked up right where he left off, going for 23 points, 11 boards, and four steals against the Cavs. 

Siakam’s points + rebounds total is on the board at 31.5, which makes sense, as he averaged 22.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. But he easily eclipsed that number against Cleveland and now goes into a game where he should be a real matchup problem for the Nets. I’m taking the Over tonight.

My best bet: Pascal Siakam Over 31.5 points + rebounds (-115 at PointsBet)

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Raptors vs Nets spread analysis

Now, I can hear you saying, “If you think the Raps can run the Nets out of the gym why didn't you take them against the spread?”

The problem for me with the spread is that it’s just too low for a game that appears to have a high variance of outcomes. I legitimately would not be shocked if this game was a blowout for either team or one that comes down to the last few possessions.

The other problem is this Nets team is still uber-talented. Do they still have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving? Oh, and a ton of other shooters? Yes? Well, there you go. 

This is still a team that can get hot at a moment’s notice and Toronto just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with Brooklyn in a shootout. Can the Raps out-effort the Nets to a win? Sure, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

On top of that, I would find it very unusual for a team as talented as the Nets to put up consecutive duds on their home court. 

So, for those reasons I’m going to stay away from the spread and just sit back and enjoy watching KD and Scottie Barnes go back and forth with each other in what should be a fun matchup. 

Raptors vs Nets Over/Under analysis

Funny. The total for this Atlantic Division matchup hit the board at 226.5. That’s exactly the number of regulation points these teams combined for over last season’s four meetings. Now, the early money has bumped the number up to 227 and my gut has me leaning that way as well.

While the Raptors and Nets played four games last season, Durant only played in the first two. In those games (which the Nets won, mind you), the combined average total points were a few points higher at 229.5. 

As noted, this Nets team is very capable of putting up big numbers with KD and Irving on the court. While the Raptors put up 108 points while shooting a sub-par 42% from the field in their win over the Cavs and they’ll probably face far less resistance against this Nets defense.

The combination of the Nets’ talent and the Raps’ hustle should be enough to let this one sneak Over this number.

Raptors vs Nets betting trend to know

The Over is 4-0 the last four times these two teams have met at the Barclays Center. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Nets.

Raptors vs Nets game info

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Friday, October 21, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet, YES

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