On Sunday night, the Philadelphia 76ers host the Toronto Raptors at Wells Fargo Center. Revenge has to be on the mind of the Sixers, who dropped a 101-96 decision in the first rematch of these franchises since Kawhi Leonard dashed Philly’s hopes of winning last season’s NBA title. The Sixers rode a three-game win streak into Toronto on November 25, only to see their franchise center get shutout for the first time in his NBA career, getting utterly embarrassed by Marc Gasol. One has to imagine he’ll be out to prove himself tonight. With that, let’s get into our Sixers-Raptors betting preview.
At 16-7, the Sixers find themselves in a tie of sorts with Toronto at four games back of the Milwaukee Bucks, but the Raptors have two games in hand. As it stands, Toronto is technically ahead of the Sixers in the standings. The Raptors have been a pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference, where many pundits believed the bottom would fall out with the departure of Leonard. Instead, the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player Pascal Siakam is making a bid to win the award again. Practically every traditional counting stat is up, while guard Fred VanVleet has done an exceptional job at raising his game as well. If Siakam doesn’t win MOP this season, VanVleet has made his case for consideration.
Sixers vs. Raptors Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Raptors at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:
- Spread: Sixers -3, Raptors +3
- Moneyline: Sixers -152, Raptors +128
- Total: 213.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
The Sixers are undefeated at home this season, but this is their greatest challenge of the season. Not only are the Raptors ahead of Philly in the standings, but they have free real estate in Joel Embiid’s head. The counter to that narrative is that the Sixers only dropped the earlier matchup this season by just five points despite Embiid going 0-11 for zero points, while Al Horford and Ben Simmons combined for just 21 points. That said, I can’t advise throwing significant money down on the Sixers until they show an ability to beat Toronto and Embiid can exorcise his Marc Gasol-induced demons.
Sixers Win and Over Total Points (+230, DraftKings)
There’s plenty working against the Sixers in this game from a narrative standpoint, but they are 16-3 this season when they’ve been installed as the favorite. Additionally, the Sixers have seen six of their past seven home games go over the total points threshold on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Bets We Like With a Raptors Win
History is on the Raptors’ side in this one. They’ve been absolutely dominant over the years against Philadelphia. I’m not one for extended historical trends -after all, this is a vastly different team than those from years ago- but the Raptors have won ten of the last thirteen regular season matchups between the teams over the past 3+ seasons, and had previously won 14 straight against the Sixers. FiveThirtyEight gives the Raptors a 52% chance of winning with a -0.5 point line.
Raptors Win and Over Total Points (+330, DraftKings)
The Sixers have been installed as the favorite by the sports books, which actually works to their detriment per a recent trend. In each of the past four games between Toronto and Philly at Wells Fargo Center, the underdogs have won each game. As I mentioned before, six of the last seven games at Wells Fargo Center on the second leg of a back-to-back have gone over the total points line.
Marc Gasol Over 9.5 Points and Raptors to Win (+450, Fox Bet)
Despite only posting three points in the teams’ first matchup of the season, Gasol averaged 15 points per game against the Sixers in 2018-19. If you like the Raptors to win, get in on this one and get better value.
Fred VanVleet Over 14.5 Points and Raptors to Win (+163, Fox Bet)
Fred VanVleet torched the Sixers last month to the tune of 24 points and he’s averaging 18.7 points per game on the season, including 20 points per game in the month of December.
Shot in the Dark
Ben Simmons Over 0.5 Made 3-Point Field Goals and 76ers to Win (+1100, Fox Bet)
If you’re looking to take a flier on a long shot bet, this one is worth looking at. Ben Simmons hit his second professional three pointer on Saturday against Cleveland and while it seems unlikely he’d take one tonight, it’s still possible he’ll look to make a statement to the rest of the league. While I don’t feel great picking a winner in this one, if you want better value than just the Sixers to win, this one exists as an odds boost and you can easily get in on it.
Sixers vs. Raptors Prediction
Pick: Raptors win a close game and over the total points.