The Houston Rockets lost 20 games in a row before heading to Amalie Arena where they were finally able to bust their drought against the Toronto Raptors. The double-digit loss was the ninth straight for the Raps, who now have the longest active losing streak in the NBA. They’ll have to play at their home away from home again on Wednesday night, but this time they’ve got a team of much higher quality coming to town in the Denver Nuggets.
Free Picks: Toronto Raptors vs. Denver Nuggets
Nuggets Look To Keep Raptors Out Of Win Column (Season Betting Record: 64-72)
While the Raptors have been in hell over the past nine games, the Nuggets have been playing some great ball, winning four of their past five and eight of their past ten. They’ve won a dozen of their 18 matchups with Eastern Conference teams this year, but they’ve developed a real affinity for playing those East Coast teams more recently, taking their last seven straight against East Coast foes.
That doesn’t bode well for the Raptors, whose most recent win actually came against those same woeful Rockets way back on February 26th. Toronto has also struggled against teams from the stronger Western Conference this season, dropping 10 of 15 interconference contests so far this season.
This also isn’t an ideal time for the Raptors to be taking on a team of Denver’s caliber, with three of their best players just recently returning from multi-week absences after contracting COVID-19. Head coach Nick Nurse has also been experimenting with mixing up his rotations recently, not to mention the team’s supposed star Pascal Siakam was fined for the second time this season a few days ago for comments he apparently made to Nurse after their loss to Cleveland last week.
Toronto’s lack of a defensive presence in the paint will also be a huge issue for them against the Nikola Jokic-led Nuggets attack. Despite all of this, sportsbooks are treating this game like a toss up, so we’re going to play it safe and go with the Denver moneyline at solid -122 NBA odds as our first NBA pick for this matchup.
The Raptors are also 8-10 straight up at Amalie Arena this season while the Nuggets have been dominant on the road, winning 14 of 22 games as the away team during this campaign. Denver has also won three of the past four meetings and covered the spread in seven of their last eight road matchups with the Raptors. The Nuggets’ dominance of the Raps goes back even further, with wins in 17 of the past 26 clashes with Toronto.
Another of our top picks for this Wednesday night tilt concerns Denver’s Canadian star point guard, who will be going up against his hometown team. Jamal Murray’s points prop is currently sitting at 21.5 points with -125 NBA odds, and we like him to cover that comfortably against Toronto.
The Raptors have some great on ball defenders in their backcourt in Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, but Murray has been very good against Eastern Conference teams this season, putting up 22.9 points per game against them while managing just 19.8 against Western Conference foes. Murray has also scored 21+ in three of his past four matchups with the Raptors.
- Denver is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings
- Toronto is 5-10 SU against the Western Conference this season
- Denver has won 7 straight against Eastern Conference teams
- Jamal Murray is averaging 22.9 points against the Eastern Conference this season
More NBA Free Pickssee more
The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.