Free NBA Series Pick: Raptors vs Wizards NBA Odds
Looking for Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards free NBA series picks & NBA odds? NBA betting sees the Raptors taking on the Wizards on Saturday April 14, 2018 at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball playoff matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA hoops predictions.
(59-23) Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards (43-39)
2018 NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Round 1
NBA Series Odds: Raptors -590 | Wizards +485
NBA Championship Futures Odds: Raptors +850, Wizards +10000
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NBA Series schedule:
- Game 1: Saturday, at Toronto, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
- Game 2: Tuesday, at Toronto, 10:30 p.m., NBA TV
- Game 3: April 20, at Washington, 9 p.m., ESPN2
- Game 4: April 22, at Washington, 5 p.m., TNT
- Game 5 (if necessary): April 25, at Toronto, TBD
- Game 6 (if necessary): April 27, at Washington, TBD
- Game 7 (if necessary): April 29, at Toronto, TBD
The Raptors reached new benchmarks claiming their first Eastern Conference top seed in franchise history along with the highest win total ever. After unsuccessful postseason campaigns the brain trust decided to change the style of the offense and it not only paid dividends it elevated the team to the second best record in NBA.
Yet, how this new pass friendly, perimeter heavy offense translates to the postseason will determine whether the Raptors finally gain the respect they so desperately desire.
Washington was a preseason favorite to be among the Eastern Conference top performers. Entering the final game of the season it was expected they would easily dispense of the Magic, so their loss in Orlando only served to fuel rumors they were purposely trying to land in eighth to face the Raptors.
Perhaps this is viable given the Wizards first round sweep of Toronto three seasons ago. But, this isn’t the same Raptors squad, so they might be revisiting that thought process as they cast their fishing lines into the lake in a few short weeks from now.
Over the past five seasons the Raptors are the Eastern Conference winningest team, but they’ve failed to recognize the same success in the postseason.
Masai Ujiri called for a culture reset immediately after the 2017 playoffs with most assuming he meant a rebuild. Contrary to this belief, Ujiri recognized the need to make stylistic changes particularly on offense.
The Raptors elected to increase ball and player movement, up their pace, replace mid level field goals with more perimeter shots and most importantly utilize their youthful reserves.
Without exception. preseason analysts pointed to the sixth youngest team and cited these youngsters as the Raptors weakness. Instead they became Toronto’s greatest x-factor and resulted in the Raptors experiencing growth on both sides of the court. To that end, the Raptors were the only team to finish ranked in the top five on offense and defense.
Yet, even with this reserve unit offering so much talent, the true x-factor may well be found in the starting lineup. Center Jonas Valanciunas is often overlooked as one of the three original core members. In past seasons Marcin Gortat has been JV’s nemesis.
Shooting the three ball at 56.8 percent and improving defensively Scott Brooks may not have an answer for the big Lithuanian.
Whether the much discussed closed door players meeting or Gortat’s cryptic ‘everyone eats’ tweet is what started the dissention the reality is it exists.
Those who suggested the Wizards were better without John Wall saw quickly how inaccurate that statement was when Washington began to lose at a startling rate. In the final 21 games the Wizards won just seven times.
At their best, the Wizards offer arguably the NBA’s top-three starting lineup that is virtually impossible to stop. At their worst they are a mediocre team lacking depth that look to get their own, over working as a team.
Still the presence of Wall and Bradley Beal offers two players who can win a game all their own. Additionally, the two-way ability of Otto Porter Jr. coupled with the ever improving Kelly Oubre presents a possible edge for the Wizards.
Washington’s x-factor may well be Markieff Morris who, like his brother has put up some big numbers against the Raptors. The difference however, will require him to perform against a rested and playoff tested Serge Ibaka. In addition Tomas Satoransky will need to outperform the Raptors bench mob members Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet
Free Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards NBA Series Prediction:
Although Ujiri committed to a three year window for this core, the reality is they need to exorcise the postseason ghosts via a successful deep run. This is the best opportunity the Raptors may get with the Celtics team who’ll only get better next season and an emerging Sixers squad.
Moreover, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are well aware of the shade thrown directly at them regarding choking. They’ll be fired up to make a statement starting with this first series. While Washington isn’t a typical eight seed, their off court issues, lack of depth and Wall’s uncertain health will factor. Three years ago the Wizards first round sweep of the Raptors started this process along with the ‘choker’ tag.
Expect Toronto to utilize that as added motivation
4* Free NBA Series Betting Pick: Raptors in 5
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