The Toronto Raptors continue their lengthy seven-game road trip when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. Somewhat surprisingly, it hasn’t been that bad as Toronto has won two of its first three games on this trip and three of four overall.
The Raps have been one of the most inconsistent teams in basketball this season. However, they have gotten some more reliable shooting and some more depth, and that has really paid off for them.
But will that be enough against a Phoenix team that is heating up and has won five of six, despite not having Devin Booker? I break down this matchup and bring you my best bet in my NBA betting picks and predictions for the Raptors vs. Suns.
Raptors vs Suns best odds
Raptors vs Suns picks and predictions
The Toronto Raptors are infuriating. When things are going right, they look like they can beat any team in NBA. But when they’re not, people wonder how low in the lottery they will go.
Currently, they’re playing pretty well. They’ve notched impressive wins over the Knicks, Kings, and Trail Blazers. And in their lone loss on this road trip, it took a strong push from the Warriors to pull it out at the end.
So, the question is, why is Toronto playing better right now? For me, part of the reason appears to be that forward Precious Achiuwa has gained his confidence back. Achiuwa was a key piece to the Raptors' rotation last year — providing a spark off the bench — and his 3-point shooting was outstanding in the second half.
However, he spent much of the season to this point dealing with injuries and he is only just now starting to look like the guy he was last season. And right now, he looks extremely important to his team's success.
Achiuwa has seen his minutes and usage increase dramatically over the last five games. He is averaging 18.4 points on 62.7% shooting from the field over that stretch while adding 10.2 rebounds per contest. I don’t think that usage is going to dip vs. the Suns.
Although Phoenix has Deandre Ayton to man the inside, the Suns still rank 15th in opponent points in the paint. They also don’t have a ton of depth right now with Devin Booker, Cam Payne, and Landry Shamet all sidelined.
Achiuwa’s point total is obviously a little elevated at 14.5 in this game, but not enough considering his big bump in minutes and usage. He’s scored 17 points or more in four of the last five. I like Achiuwa to get close to that once again tonight.
My best bet: Precious Achiuwa Over 14.5 points (-125 at PointsBet)
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Raptors vs Suns spread analysis
The Suns opened this matchup as just 2-point favorites and have moved down to 1.5. That’s likely due to a combination of the Raptors’ improved play of late and the fact Phoenix still missing several key players including All-Star Devin Booker.
Things were looking grim for the Suns when Booker first went down with a groin injury, but under the leadership of Chris Paul, the team has righted the ship, winning five of their last six games straight up and against the spread.
Part of the reason for the turnaround has been that Phoenix has really stepped up its play at the defensive end of the floor. We know this team is always capable of playing strong defense, but that hasn’t always been the case of late. However, over the last six games the Suns have led the NBA in defensive rating.
While Toronto's offense has been playing much better of late, it hasn't come across too many strong defenses over this stretch. This is still a team that ranks next-to-last in effective field goal percentage. To make matters worse, not having OG Anunoby due to a wrist injury won’t do the Raps any favors, particularly for a defense that has taken a step back.
I don’t love either side in this matchup but would lean toward the home team because of their improved defense.
Raptors vs Suns Over/Under analysis
The total for this matchup hit the board at 226.5, but the Under has been hammered so far, with the number coming down as low as 220.5 depending on the book.
That makes sense. Without Booker, Payne, and Shamet, the Suns' offense has certainly lost some punch and is averaging a meager 110.3 points over the last nine.
The Raptors are generally thought of as an under team. They play smart defense and the offense struggles. Well, that notion has been flipped on its head recently.
Toronto’s offense has started to get going. The Raps rank seventh in offensive rating over the last six games, putting up 118 points per contest. While the defense is still finding its footing. They rank 28th in opponent field goal percentage and 29th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.
This number is low enough now that I would lean toward the Over.
Raptors vs Suns betting trend to know
The Over is 7-2 in the Raptors' last nine road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Raptors vs. Suns.
Raptors vs Suns game info
|Location:||Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Monday, January 30, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||TSN, Bally Sports Arizona|