The Toronto Raptors may have finished in fifth place in the 2021-22 Eastern Conference, but many of the top teams improved to such a shocking degree that Toronto’s odds of competing for a championship have taken a hit. Multiple play-in teams have gotten much better.
The Atlanta Hawks kicked off the offseason trade frenzy by acquiring Dejounte Murray from the Spurs. The Cleveland Cavaliers wasted no time in following them by using most of their available assets to pilfer Donovan Mitchell away from the Jazz. The Eastern Conference has quickly become quite the viper nest.
The oddsmakers over in Las Vegas have established that the Raptors are still expected to make the playoffs and be above .500 once again. However, the odds are not overly kind to the Raptors or their status within the conference, as some of the newcomers are viewed as slightly better than Toronto.
The Raptors were listed at -230 (bet $230 to win $100) to make the playoffs, which is slightly better odds than the Hawks have at -210. The Cavs, however, rode the Mitchel trade momentum to -320 odds. Toronto’s wins over-under is set at 46.5, with Atlanta right behind them at 45.5 and Cleveland slightly ahead at 47.5.
*All odds are courtesy of FanDuel
Toronto Raptors odds: Nick Nurse must defy the oddsmakers.
The Raptors have the benefit of continuity on their side. While the Hawks need to divide the Murray/Trae Young workload evenly and the Cavaliers must integrate Mitchell alongside their collection of young guns, Toronto brought back their entire rotation in addition to snatching Otto Porter Jr. via free agency.
Not only are Atlanta and Cleveland threats to Toronto and their ability to replicate what many considered an extraordinary season, but the Brooklyn Nets vaulted into the championship contender tier now that their trio of stars has been kept together following an offseason of rumors.
The betting market is expecting stagnation from the Raptors, while some more optimistic fans are thinking that their collection of young talent is poised for a step in the right direction from a developmental point of view. If Scottie Barnes becomes the shooter and scorer fans hope he will eventually become, shouldn’t that get them to 47?
That over-under implies that Toronto is going to come into the season as a postseason hopeful, yet will fall short of last year’s success. It looks like Nick Nurse and the rest of the squad have one extra piece of bulletin board material.