76ers Look To Move Up in East vs Raptors
The Philadelphia 76ers try to win their third straight on Sunday when they welcome the Toronto Raptors in a clash of Eastern Conference playoff contenders. Philadelphia is in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, three games behind the first-place Miami Heat and percentage points ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks. Toronto is seventh in the East, having lost at home to the Los Angeles Lakers in its last outing. This is one you’ll want to bet online on, but read our preview to help determine which way you want to go.
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Raptors Playing Well on the Road
The Toronto Raptors come into Sunday’s contest having won five straight road contests, all against Western Conference foes. The Raptors are 22-15 away from home this season, including a win in their previous trip to the City of Brotherly Love.
Forward Pascal Siakam will be a big key for the Raptors’ chances of picking up another road win, as he leads the team in both scoring (21.9 points per game) and rebounding (8.4 per contest). Siakam has taken his game to the perimeter more over the last few games, hitting 50% of his 3-point attempts over the last six contests.
Another key cog for coach Nick Nurse is guard Fred VanVleet, who is working his way back into form after he missed five games with knee soreness. VanVleet has played five games since his time off, averaging 17.6 points and 4.6 assists, down from his season averages of 21.1 points and 6.7 assists.
Toronto will also need the shooting of guard Gary Trent Jr. Trent has been up and down of late, alternating between games of 23 or more points and eight or fewer points over the last five games. Trent is averaging 18.2 points per game, but the Raptors are hoping for more consistency down the stretch of the season.
Harden Still Developing into Role with 76ers
The addition of James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup certainly added firepower as well as playmaking for the team, but the All-Star guard is still learning when to give each aspect of his game. With an MVP candidate already on the team in Joel Embiid, Harden is trying to fit in as best he can without taking away from Embiid’s offensive game.
“I still need to be aggressive,” Harden said after finishing with 24 points and 13 assists in Friday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks. “I still have to be in attack mode and score the basketball. Tonight, in that fourth quarter, when I kept attacking – the plays are going to come. We got lobs and we got 3s and that’s going to come from my aggressiveness. You have to read the game, and tonight, I felt like I read the game well.”
Harden is averaging 22.9 points and 10.7 assists in 10 games with the 76ers, with both numbers slightly up from his production with the Brooklyn Nets this season. Harden is second in the league with 10.3 assists per game this season.
Meanwhile, Embiid continues to dominate, leading the league with 30.0 points per game while ranking eighth with 11.3 rebounds per contest. He’s considered questionable for Sunday’s game with some back problems, but if he plays, Toronto will be facing a red-hot scorer, as Embiid is averaging 34.0 points over his last four outings.
Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers Head-to-Head
This is the third matchup between the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers this season, with the road team winning each of the first two meetings. Both games came prior to the 2022 calendar year, with Toronto winning in Philadelphia in November, followed by the 76ers getting a victory in late December.
The teams have alternated wins over the last six seasons dating back to their last matchup of the 2019-20 campaign. Toronto has won two of its last three games as the visitor against Philadelphia, but the NBA lines are favoring the 76ers to get the job done at home in this one.
Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers Game Information
- Game: Toronto Raptors (39-31) at Philadelphia 76ers (43-26)
- Location: Wells Fargo Center
- Day/Time: Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Stream: NBA League Pass
Toronto Raptors vs Philadelphia 76ers Betting Lines
Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
The Toronto Raptors have been playing well on the road, but this Philadelphia 76ers team is looking like a top title contender. Assuming Embiid is in the lineup, Philadelphia should be able to dominate inside, and even without their All-Star center, the 76ers have a lot of firepower with Harden, Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey.
When making your NBA picks, take Philadelphia to win and cover at home.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -6 (-110)