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Raptors vs Nets: NBA First-Round Playoff Series Odds, Betting Preview

The first-round of NBA playoff action starts with four games Monday. The 16 teams are set to compete for the title in Orlando. The second game of the NBA line-up features a depleted Brooklyn Nets team taking on the defending champion Toronto Raptors. The Nets will be hoping for some magic in what could be one of the easiest series to predict.

If you are looking for a way to bet on the NBA or other sporting events, check out our sports betting page. You can click the sportsbook link and take your online betting to the next level by picking all eight first-round winners. Don’t forget to tune into the game that is set to tip-off at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Nick Nurse
Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images/AFP

Raptors vs Nets First-Round Series Schedule

Date

Match

Time

Broadcast

Game 1: Monday, Aug. 17 Raptors vs Nets 4 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2: Wednesday, Aug. 19 Raptors vs Nets 1:30 p.m. ET NBATV
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 21 Nets vs Raptors 1:30 p.m. ET NBATV
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 23 Nets vs Raptors 6:30 p.m. ET TNT
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 25 Raptors vs Nets TBD TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 27 Nets vs Raptors TBD ESPN
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 29 Raptors vs Nets TBD TNT

Head-to-Head

Toronto and Brooklyn played four regular-season games before the NBA decided to suspend play in March. The Raptors dominated their Atlantic Division rivals, 3-1. The Nets defeated the Raptors, 101-91, in the most recent meeting on Feb. 12 in Brooklyn. The Raptors were four-point favorites and the over/under was set at 224.5. The loss to the Nets ended a 15-game winning streak — the longest of the season for the Raptors. You can check out all the matchup information on our NBA matchup page.

On Feb. 8, Toronto defeated the Nets, 119-118. The Raptors were 6.5-point favorites for their game at home against the Nets with an O/U of 218. Over a month before on Jan. 4, Brooklyn lost in a blowout 121-102. The Nets were favored by 1.5 points when they played host to Toronto with an O/U of 217. The Raptors won at home 110-102 in the first regular-season meet on Dec. 14. Toronto was a 7.5-point favorite and the O/U was set at 218.5.

In the Bubble

The second-seed Raptors came into the Orlando bubble ready to play. Winning seven out of the eight seeding games. Toronto’s record trailed only the 8-0 Suns for the best record since the restart. The defending NBA champs have been out to show the league that, even without Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, they are still one of the best teams in the East and the league. They clinched the No. 2 seed with three games left. This has allowed the Raptors to rest key players. Coach Nick Nurse has his Raptors playing cohesive team defense, which has been one of the most exciting things to watch in Orlando.

The Nets held onto the seventh seed with a 5-3 record. The new-look Nets have been a wild story since the off-season. Not only were newly acquired stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving listed as out for the season when play stopped in March, but they also traveled to Orlando without the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Wilson Chandler, Nicolas Claxton, DeAndre Jordan, and Taurean Prince. Adding five new players and having new coach Jacque Vaughn for the season restart makes the Nets an intriguing, unpredictable team.

Raptors Breakdown

Defense: Toronto’s 104.7 defense rating ranked second in the league. The Raptors ranked first in the same category in the past eight games. They keep teams out of the paint. The Raptors try to force opposing teams to shoot long 2s and 3s with a defender quickly closing out late in the shot clock. Toronto apparently does this effectively ranking second in opponents’ points in the paint and first in opponents’ 3-point percentage.

109 points per 100 possessions: 39-1 is the Raptors’ record when they hit the 109 per 100 possession mark in a game. The champs defense has been consistently good enough that they have to be less than average on offense (the league average is 110.1 points/100 possessions) to practically guarantee a win. The Raptors have been average on offense, and sometimes really struggle to get it going. A good example of this is their only loss to the Nets when they scored 91 points per 98 possessions.

No Kawhi, no problem? It certainly would be impressive if the Raptors could repeat after losing two starters from their championship team and practically not replacing them. One of those players is considered one of the best players on the planet. Leonard had a historic playoff run in 2019, posting some of the best numbers in postseason history. How will Toronto pick up where it left off without Kawhi? Who will take over the game late? Can the Raptors repeat without a true star player? The series against the Nets is a great place to start to answer some questions.

Nets Breakdown

Ball movement and turnovers: Coach Vaughn has his team moving the ball better. The Nets finished four of the eight seeding games with more than 30 assists. Brooklyn ranks 23rd in turnover/game while Toronto ranks second in opponents turnover/game. The Nets need to move the ball effectively while keeping turnovers down and the Raptors out of transition.

Shooting from deep: The Nets rank 26th in 3-point percentage. Their season average of 34.4% from “3” is not going to be good enough to win this series. They need to catch fire and stay hot to pull something like that off. The Raptors give up the second-most 3s/game and the Nets need to cash in on these opportunities.

Jamal Crawford: The Nets are going to need everyone to play, and to play well to upset the Raptors. Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Award winner, Jamal Crawford would be a huge boost for a team that desperately needs it. The Nets signed Crawford as a substitute player to fill in for the players that could not come to the bubble. They have only gotten five points in six minutes out of the man who sits eighth in career 3-point field goals made due to a leg injury. Hopefully, Crawford can suit up and deliver one of his vintage scoring games.

Championship Odds

The Toronto Raptors had preseason championship odds set at +5500. The current odds for Toronto are +800 to win the NBA Finals.

The Brooklyn Nets’ preseason championship odds were set at +5500 as well. The Nets’ current championship odds are sitting at +12000.

Series Odds

The series is expected to be one-sided. Most experts are expecting it to last no more than five games. Toronto is the heavy favorite on the NBA series prices page.

  • Brooklyn Nets: +1400
  • Toronto Raptors: -3000

Prediction: Toronto Raptors in 5

Toronto will defensively dominate and ultimately be too much for the Nets. The Nets may be able to get hot enough to steal one game on a night that the Raptors are struggling offensively. The Nets have plenty to look forward to and will likely be a preseason favorite to win the NBA Championship next year.

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