Raptors betting trends: Pascal Siakam's return looms large
Pascal Siakam is targeting a return next week from a groin injury, which will change plenty of things from a Raptors betting perspective. Photo by Matt Slocum/AP.

Two key factors have driven the Toronto Raptors' season so far: Their best player, Pascal Siakam, has missed almost half the games, and the team has been on the move a lot.

Siakam, a third-team All-NBA member last year, hasn't played since November 4. And the Raptors haven't played consecutive games in the same city all month. It's been a grind, but Toronto (9-8) has stayed above .500 along the way.

Now, the Raps will enjoy six of their next eight games at home. As that stretch begins, here are the latest Raptors betting trends to know.

Siakam will be back soon

The best news Raptors fans have heard in a while came Tuesday, when coach Nick Nurse announced that Siakam is "targeting" a return for next week.

Siakam is Toronto's per-game leader in points (24.8), rebounds (9.3) and assists (7.7). The Raptors are not as top-heavy with superstar talent as some other playoff-hopeful teams, but Siakam is still their brightest star.

Naturally, he's also more involved in the offence than anyone else.

The power forward has a 29.6% usage rate, which is 8.1% above the next highest rotation player (OG Anunoby). Prop markets for guys like Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes will all shift with Siakam back in the fold.

Fred VanVleetPtsRebAst
W/ Siakam13.34.07.7
W/o Siakam23.72.75.8
OG AnunobyPtsRebAst
W/ Siakam15.66.31.8
W/o Siakam22.46.02.5
Scottie BarnesPtsRebAst
W/ Siakam14.96.35.1
W/o Siakam14.47.35.3
Stats via Statmuse

Anunoby's points/rebounds/assists totals have been most greatly affected by the availability of Siakam, which is certainly something to watch moving forward. Right now, Anunoby is working on a career-high scoring rate (18.8 points per game) even though he's shooting fewer threes than in previous seasons.

Expect Siakam's return to be a great thing for the Raptors, but keep an eye on how it affects other players' prop markets.

Scoping the schedule

As mentioned at the top, the Raptors haven't been able to settle in much, schedule-wise.

They haven't played consecutive home matchups since Oct. 26-31, resulting in a current 12-game stretch of playing in a different city each night (random aside: for whatever reason, the New Orleans Pelicans just played six consecutive games at home).

We can't exactly quantify the difficulty of a run like that, but we expect that the home-heavy slate coming up will do this team some good.

Toronto is 6-1 with a 6.5 net rating inside Scotiabank Arena so far this year. Away from home, the Raptors are 3-7 with a 0.2 net rating.

Raptors futures marketsOddsBet now
Raptors to win NBA Finals+5,000Add to betslip
Raptors to win East+2,000Add to betslip
Raptors to reach playoffs-435Add to betslip
Anunoby to win DPOY+1,200Add to betslip
Nurse to win COY+3,000Add to betslip

Looking well down the road, Toronto will have to brace itself for a seven-game road swing through Western and Central U.S. from Jan. 25 to Feb. 5. But that's a situation to dive into in a future Raptors betting trends piece.

Toronto has played in three back-to-backs this season, all of which have featured a road game on the back end. And the results haven't been pretty.

The Raptors are 0-3 when playing on no rest, dropping games against the Heat, Bulls and Pacers. They were slight underdogs in all three games, and they went 1-2 ATS.

Looking at the Raptors' stats on no rests versus their season averages, the disparity is obvious.

All games (17)112.545.1%33.5%+43
No rest (3)103.341.4%29.4%-31
Stats via Statmuse and Basketball Reference

A three-game sample is tiny, but it's at least worth noting that Toronto hasn't fared well in no-rest situations yet. The team's next chance to buck the emerging trend comes at home on Dec. 3 against the Orlando Magic.

Raptors' ATS analysis

Toronto is off to a solid start against the spread, posting a 10-7 (.588) record so far — good for eighth in the NBA.

Here's a quick breakdown of that ATS record:

  • 5-2 at home
  • 5-5 on the road
  • 5-4 as the favourite
  • 5-3 as the underdog

What stands out most to us in the early stages is Toronto's 4-2 ATS record as home favourites. We'll have more opportunities in the next two weeks to see if the Raptors can build on that start.

From an over/under standpoint, Toronto's 10-7 over record ranks third in the NBA. That includes six overs in nine games (66.7%) when the Raptors are favoured.

Parting shot

Raptors coach Nick Nurse made a very pointed statement to reporters on Tuesday regarding the defensive efforts of wing Gary Trent Jr.

Trent recently missed three games due to hip soreness and illness, but before that he'd seen his minutes trending downward.

  • Trent's first 7 GP: 37.0 minutes, 19.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists
  • Trent's last 7 GP: 26.9 minutes, 13.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists

Another notable difference in these splits is Trent's 3-point shooting volume. He went from averaging 3.4 threes made in his first seven games to just 1.0 threes made in his past seven.

We'll have to see if a lack of defensive effort keeps Trent in the doghouse, or if he's able to get back in Nurse's good graces. Probably best not to target him on prop markets until his usage trends upward.

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