Have you ever wondered how to bet on the Toronto Raptors? If the answer to that question is yes, you've come to the right place
The good thing for those new to the betting space is that it doesn’t matter whether the Raptors are playing at their championship level from a couple of seasons ago or as poorly as they were during the dark days of the Kevin O’Neill era. There are betting options every time they take the court.
Many markets, thanks to player props, don’t even require you to pick them to win or lose. Let’s dive in and check out the ways you can wager on Canada’s favourite team.
How to bet on the Raptors
You will have a wide range of betting markets to choose from any time the Raptors play. Deciding what to wager on comes down to a number of factors every night — the opponent, the location, trends, the health of the roster, and so on — but you won’t be short on options.
We’ll take a look at the common markets that sportsbooks make available and offer strategies on how to find the best value when betting on the Raptors.
How to bet on the Raptors moneyline
If you’ve decided that you believe the Raptors will beat their opponent then you have a couple of options on how to make that bet. You can wager on the Raptors to win the game outright, which would simply require them to defeat the other team. That's known as a moneyline bet.
How much the Raptors won by or if they required overtime to secure the victory wouldn’t matter.
Sportsbooks will either list the Raptors as a favourite or underdog for any game they play. This is universal across all the major sports. The favourite will have a minus (-) sign before its odds, while the underdog will come with a plus (+) marker.
Against an elite team, like the Golden State Warriors, the Raptors would be large underdogs. But at home against the Indiana Pacers, Toronto would surely be a sizeable favourite. At home against the Boston Celtics, the line would likely be fairly even.
Here’s an example of how those odds would be presented:
Warriors (-370) vs. Raptors (+255)
Pacers (+190) vs. Raptors (-175)
Celtics (+120) vs. Raptors (-125)
Those odds tell you what your potential earnings would be if you won your bet and the implied probability of each team’s chances of winning that contest. Both of those things are important when determining which team to bet on. Let's take a look at what that would mean if you backed the Raptors for those bets.
For reasons such as Stephen Curry, we wouldn’t recommend taking the Raptors on the moneyline against Golden State.
While a more difficult matchup than the Pacers game, the return on investment is noticeably greater for that Celtics contest. To win $100, you have to wager $50 more for that Indiana game compared to Boston.
As for the Pacers, taking a team at -175 on the moneyline isn’t the most ideal way to bet on this contest. But that brings us to our next section, which is how to bet the Raptors on the point spread.
The point spread is another way you can bet on a team to win. The difference between betting on the spread and the moneyline is that the team you pick to win has to do it by a certain amount of points. A team can also lose outright, but win on a spread pick if the margin of defeat is within a certain amount of points.
Let’s stick with our Raptors and Pacers example to better illustrate the spread and why it would be a better play than the moneyline in this particular instance.
On the ML (short for moneyline), we see the Raptors are a -175 favourite. But on a point spread, in which they might be favoured to cover 6.5 points, their odds would change since there is a greater degree of difficulty in beating a team by seven points (which would be needed with a 6.5-point spread) than a single point.
Most spreads have the same odds, typically set at -110. So the line would look like this:
Raptors -6.5 (-110)
Pacers +6.5 (-110)
If you picked the Raptors on the spread, you would win your ticket if they won by seven or more points. Let’s say you picked the Pacers, they could lose by six points or fewer or win the game, and you would cash your bet.
Point spread vs. moneyline
Taking the Raptors against a struggling Pacers team on the spread at -110 odds would be a better bet than getting them at -175 on the ML.
How did we come to that conclusion? For starters, the Raptors are the better team and playing at home. We’ve decided we think their chances of winning the game are higher than Indiana, and so did the sportsbook that we used for our example based on that 63-plus percent probability of winning.
With that established, we want to determine where the best value is. For us, that’s taking the Raptors on the spread because it’s not a foregone conclusion that they would win this game, and if we're backing them to win we want to avoid the amount of juice (commission the sportsbook gets for taking the bet) we are paying.
With that said, we don’t believe a 6.5-point spread is too difficult for them to cover in this matchup and it would also produce a greater return on investment.
We know that it would take a $175 wager to win $100 at -175 odds on the moneyline. For the point spread bet, you would need to spend $110 to win $100. Put another way, you would make more than $30 extra on the spread versus the ML for every $100 spent.
You can also wager on alternative spreads. That 5.5 number was the main spread, but sportsbooks will give you the option to bet at different numbers in either direction (say 4.5, 7.5, etc). The -110 odds would change as a result.
When looking at spreads and totals, make sure to check how each team fares in those categories. Many sites track a team’s record against the spread (ATS) and how often they go over or under the point total set by the operator. These can be useful tools when determining which side to place your bet on.
Speaking of the over/under, we will now take a look at how to bet on Raptors totals.
Let's stay with the Raptors and Pacers example. Generally speaking, most sportsbooks set the total of an NBA game somewhere between 200-230 points. That's the total number of combined points between the two teams. You'd be able to choose whether you think the teams will go over or under that number.
You will see totals referred to as the over/under and O/U. They all mean the same thing.
The O/U for this matchup might be listed at 217.5. Both options are typically set at -110 odds, like the spread. If you want to bet on this market, then you have the option to select the over, which would require the teams to combine for 218 points or more, or take the under. You would cash your bet if they scored 217 points or fewer.
How the teams fare offensively and defensively and who’s available for the matchup are certain things you will want to research before making your decision.
You can also bet on a team’s total as well. A team total would be set lower since it doesn't account for the opponent's production.
If you’re confident the Raptors are going to put up a lot of points but aren’t as sure about how much the Pacers will contribute, you may find betting the over on the team total is a better option for you. This might be a number of around 110.5.
Like the spread, you can bet on alternative game totals as well.
How to bet Raptors props
Props are another way to bet and involve wagering on certain game or individual outcomes that have nothing to do with the winner or loser of the contest.
You could make a bet that is isolated to the beginning of the game and pick the team that will score 15 points first or wager the over/under on how many points Pascal Siakam will score.
There are many options, but in this section we will focus on player props.
Most sportsbooks have a number of different prop offerings, including markets on a player’s point, rebound, and assist totals. The 3-point market is also popular. These props give the bettor the option to wager on the O/U number that is established by the sportsbook.
Going back to Siakam, his points prop might be listed at 22.5, giving you the option to take the over or under. A lesser scorer, such as Scottie Barnes, might see his point prop set at 14.5.
Assist, rebound, and 3-point props follow the same format. Many sportsbooks will also give the option to wager on a player’s total combined point, rebound, and assist numbers or a combination of the two. Siakam’s point + rebound + assist prop would be set at something like 33.5 and you'd be able to wager on either side.
The over/under odds are sometimes in the same range, but they will often shade to one side as well. That means the sportsbook, for example, may set an over at -140 (believing it's the more likely outcome) and the under at +120.
You'll be given the option to bet on certain specials that may be geared around one player or feature multiple outcomes that essentially make it a pre-built parlay.
For instance, in addition to betting the over/under on Siakam’s 22.5 points prop, a sportsbook could also give you the option of placing a wager on him scoring 30-plus points at say +250.
You may also see a special that combines the game outcome, team total, and a player's point total. It could look like this:
Raptors to win, over 217.5 points, Siakam to score 20-plus points (+185).
You might be inclined to make this wager because you’ve decided you’re confident that the Raps will win, combine with Orlando to hit the over on the total, and that Siakam is a good bet to score 20 or more points. Certain sportsbooks will present you with different combinations or allow you to build your own (known as a same-game parlay).
But remember: You would need all three of those outcomes to be correct in order to win and it’s more difficult to win that sort of ticket compared to a single-event wager.
There are many more ways to bet on the Raptors. Parlays, futures and live betting are all among the additional popular betting markets.