Declawed Raptors Visit Scorching Cavaliers
The Toronto Raptors snapped their six-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 113-106 win over the New York Knicks. Toronto (14-18) is tasked with a difficult challenge on Friday when it visits the Cleveland Cavaliers (22-11), who have won five consecutive games.
The Raptors are 4-12 on the road but have covered back-to-back road games against the spread (ATS). The Cavaliers are 16-2 at home and are 3-2 ATS in their last five games in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Will Toronto grab another much-needed win against the red-hot Cavs?
Star Player Carrying Toronto’s Scoring Load
Injuries have been the story of the Toronto Raptors’ season. Forward Precious Achiuwa has been out since Nov. 9 with an ankle injury. This has been a big blow to the Raptors’ defense, especially in the paint. Toronto ranks 30th in opponent 2-point percentage. Achiuwa will be out once again, and the Cavaliers rank in the top half of 2-point percentage and points in the paint.
Guard Gary Trent Jr. (quadricep) has been another impactful absence. He is averaging 16.9 points and has missed the last four games. Trent entered the season as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate (+4000) but has started in 18 of 25 games. The Raptors will likely be without the starting guard on Friday.
Despite Trent’s absence, Toronto is staying around its points average of 111.2 per game (20th). The Raptors come off a 113-point outing thanks to forward Pascal Siakam erupting for a stunning 52 points while shooting 17 of 25. He also recorded 38 points on Dec. 19 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Siakam is producing at an All-Star level, averaging 26.2 points while shooting 48.8%.
Cavaliers Are Rolling
Nearly everything has gone right for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Early in the season, they ripped off eight consecutive wins. The Cavs are back at it again, winning five in a row. After a 114-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Cleveland is two games back from the top spot in the Eastern Conference and one back from second. With a win and a Boston Celtics loss on Friday, the Cavaliers will be in second place.
Of course, Cleveland is viewed as a virtual lock to make the playoffs at -3000. Plus, J.B. Bickerstaff is the third option to win the Coach of the Year (+600). The Cavs also hold the NBA’s top home record at 16-2. It’s hard to go against the Wine and Gold in home games.
Forward Evan Mobley (knee) is questionable for Friday’s game. This would be a big loss against the undersized Raptors. The Cavaliers’ defense, which leads the association in defensive efficiency, is vastly different without Mobley, who is the fourth choice to win Defensive Player of the Year (+1000).
Raptors vs Cavaliers Game Injuries
Raptors vs Cavaliers Head-to-Head
The Raptors have won three consecutive games, including two games this season. Toronto has also covered three consecutive games against Cleveland. The Cavaliers are 3-1 in their last four home games against the Raptors.
Raptors vs Cavaliers Game Information
- Game: Raptors (14-18) vs Cavaliers (22-11)
- Location: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH
- Day/Time: Friday, Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Raptors vs Cavaliers Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Raptors vs Cavaliers Betting Lines
Raptors vs Cavaliers Picks & Prediction
Whoever controls the pace of this game will likely win. The Cavaliers look to play a slow, defensive game. The Raptors attempt to run in the open court, ranking second in fastbreak points per game. Cleveland is in the top half of allowed fastbreak points per game and controlled the tempo in its last two meetings against Toronto.
Both squads’ star players are red-hot going into this one. Ultimately, the Cavs’ backcourt will be too much. Donovan Mitchell has scored at least 34 points in three of the last five, and Darius Garland has bounced back from a cold spell. Cleveland will grab a win and cover, going to 17-2 at home.
Cleveland is listed at -195 in our Vegas NBA lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Cavaliers, you have a chance to win $51. Toronto is +165, offering a chance to win $165 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Cleveland a 66.10% chance to win, with the Raptors at 37.74%.
Raptors vs Cavaliers Trends
Raptors vs Cavaliers Edge
Raptors vs Cavaliers Results
Raptors vs Cavaliers Game Summary
Cavaliers vs Raptors Previous Game (Nov. 28, 2022)
The Toronto Raptors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in what is a sequel to their nailbiter of a season opener, which Toronto won. The NBA betting odds have this as another tight game with a lean on Toronto. Cleveland is on the second night of a back-to-back, when they are 2-1. With both teams dealing with a glut of injuries, whose absence will impact this game most?
The betting lines are tight here for good reason: these teams can play each other close. But instead of picking a side, we lean on this one being a low-scoring game. Cleveland and Toronto are missing important scorers, so they will rely on their defenses: the Cavaliers are fifth in defensive rating and Toronto is ninth at home.