Devin Booker and the Suns are in Tampa to take on the Toronto Raptors Friday night. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Phoenix Suns are 4.5-point favorites when visit the Toronto Raptors Friday night
- Phoenix is coming off a loss to Orlando, while Toronto snapped a nine-game losing skid
- Get the latest Suns vs Raptors odds, betting preview and a pick below
The Toronto Raptors just broke a 9-game skid with an impressive win over the Denver Nuggets.
After a half-measures sort of trade deadline, we’ll see how they fare against one of the league’s elite, as the Phoenix Suns come to town.
The Suns are coming off a shocker of a loss to the Orlando Magic. Still, they’re 7-3 in their last 10, and enter this one as 4.5-point road favorites.
Suns vs Raptors Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Phoenix Suns||-4.5 (-110)||-198||TBD|
|Toronto Raptors||+4.5 (-110)||+166||TBD|
Odds taken on Mar 24. Tip-off is Friday at 7:30pm ET
Lowry Stays, Norm Shipped
The Toronto Raptors were expected to be sellers. A 1-9 swoon heading into the trade deadline left them in 18-26, sitting in 11th in the Eastern Conference.
In the end, Masai Ujiri didn’t find a package that compelled him to trade Kyle Lowry — and Lowry had always been fine with completing the season with the Raptors, sources tell ESPN. Now, Lowry can head to free agency in the summer. https://t.co/JOoY9WMKNf
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
Surprisingly, franchise icon Kyle Lowry was not dealt, and will instead finish out his contract with the Raptors this year and become an unrestricted free agent. The Raptors did deal guard Norman Powell to Portland, getting back guard Gary Trent Jr and wing Rodney Hood.
It’s uncertain whether they’ll be available for Friday, but with the Trail Blazers already in Miami for their game Thursday night, there’s a better chance that the two could be able to join the team at their temporary Tampa home.
— Raptors Republic (@raptorsrepublic) March 25, 2021
While many have written this off as a lost season, the reality is Toronto is just 1.5 games out of the East play-in. But they’re going to need to pick things up on the defensive side. The Raps are in the bottom-half of the league in both points allowed the three-point shooting defense, and their lack of size leaves allows their opponents to board at the 8th-best rate in the NBA.
They’ll still use the same formula: converting turnovers into points — they’re second in the league at 19.5 a night — and shoot from deep. Toronto is one of four teams averaging 40+ attempts from three-point range per game, and they’re hitting at a 38% clip, tied for the 8th-best mark in the league.
Suns Seeking Bounce Back
At 29-14, the Suns are within three games of the West-leading Utah Jazz. They should be extra motivated after dropping a 112-111 decision to the Magic, breaking a streak of 19 straight wins when holding the opposition to under 120 points.
ICYMI | Final: Magic 112-111 Suns
The Magic becoming giant killers for the second time in a week knocking off the scorching Phoenix Suns. Evan Fournier with with a game winner with 6 seconds remaining to snap a 2 game losing streak.#MagicTogether pic.twitter.com/TViwaKUrmU
— Orlando Magic UK (@OrlandoMagicUK) March 25, 2021
Phoenix has been getting it done on the road, with a nice 14-6 mark and they’ve handled the East foes as well, coming into Friday with a 10-6 mark.
This will be the second and final meeting between the two clubs, with Phoenix taking the first meeting on Jan. 6, a 123-115 win as 3-point favorites.
The Suns’ big guns featured heavily in that win, with Devin Booker potting 24, while Chris Paul had 12 points and eight dimes. Phoenix was unconscious from three-point range, drilling 21 money balls and hitting at a 52.5% clip.
Fim em Phoenix!
Raptors 115×123 Suns #WeAreTheValley
– Devin Booker (PHO): 24 PTS/6 AST
– Jae Crowder (PHO): 21 PTS
– Pascal Siakam (TOR): 32 PTS/9 REB
– Kyle Lowry (TOR): 24 PTS/9 REB/5 AST pic.twitter.com/pjuKHXywBR
— BASQUETANDO (@Basquetando_) January 7, 2021
On the year, the Suns rank second in assists at 27.3 a game, a good reason they rank second in field-goal percentage (48.9%) and seventh from downtown (38.2%).
They’re solid of the defensive end too, second in the NBA in points allowed at 107.4, while holding teams to 34.4% from three-point range, the third-best mark in the league.
What’s the Best Bet?
Both teams have had some recent success against the spread. Toronto is 7-1 ATS in their last eight against teams with a winning record, while the Suns are 6-0 ATS in their last six coming off a loss.
Even if Trent and Hood are available for the Raptors in this one, it’s hard to go against a Suns side that is delivering at a high clip. They’ve also only dropped consecutive games twice all season, the latest a three-game slide from Jan 22-27.
In the other eight games following a loss, the Suns have come away with a win, with the lowest margin of victory being eight points.
The pick: Suns – 4.5 (-110)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.