Utah Jazz at Toronto Raptors
Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 6:00 PM (Scotiabank Arena)
Toronto -3; Total 209.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
Two of the NBA’s elite teams will face off on Sunday when the Utah Jazz (12-7) travel to the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto to face the defending champion Raptors (14-4). While both teams remain among the best in the NBA, one team enters the game much hotter than the other.
The hot team is Toronto, which has won six in a row, seven of its last eight, and 10 of its last 12. The losses in that stretch were both road games and were against Dallas and the Clippers, two of the best in the league in their own right. Amazingly, the Raptors remain undefeated at home this year and six of the eight home wins have been decided by eight or more points. All eight wins have been by more than the three points Toronto is giving up in this game.
The Raptors have been on a roll, knocking off the Magic in Orlando 90-83 on Friday after crushing the Knicks 126-98 at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday. In that win over the defensive-minded Magic, Norman Powell went off for a career-best 33 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range on a night that the rest of his team didn’t shoot the ball well. Fred VanVleet scored 22 points on 5-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and seven steals, but aside from Powell and VanVleet, the rest of the Raptors combined to connect on only 1-of-18 shots from long range. Pascal Siakam added 10 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists in the win. Toronto’s defense was incredible, holding Orlando to 34.6 percent shooting from the field and 24.1 percent from 3-point range.
Siakam leads Toronto in scoring with 25.1 points per game, which is the 14th-best total in the NBA. He also averages 6.9 rebounds per game. Kyle Lowry, who has missed 10 games with a thumb injury, scores 21.8 points per game, and VanVleet adds 18.5 points and 7.3 assists per game. Serge Ibaka, another player who has missed 10 games due to injury, scores 14.0 points with 6.5 rebounds per game, Powell scores 12.7 points per game, and OG Anunoby scores 11.3 points per game.
There is nothing definite for Lowry or Ibaka heading into Sunday’s game, but the Raptor’s official injury report reports that the Raptors hope “to have him back for Sunday’s game against the Jazz.” Lowry is listed as “targeting the Dec. 1 game against the Jazz for his potential return,” so there is a chance that Lowry and Ibaka will return for this game.
Utah, while still playing good basketball, isn’t as hot as Toronto. The Jazz have lost two of their last three games and are just 4-4 in their last eight. In addition, Utah is just 4-6 on the road this season, and this game on Sunday against the Raptors is the fourth game of a five-game road trip with the fifth game coming Monday at Philadelphia. On this current road trip, the Jazz opened with a 122-118 loss at Milwaukee, followed by a blowout 121-102 loss at Indiana. Utah rebounded on Friday for a 103-94 victory over Memphis.
The Jazz was able to pull away in the end against Memphis thanks to Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. He also added eight rebounds. Donovan Mitchell added 20 points despite shooting just 7-of-22 from the field. Rudy Gobert scored 13 points with 13 rebounds, and Royce O’Neale added 10 points in the win.
On the season, Mitchell leads the Jazz and is 12th in the NBA scoring 25.3 points per game to go along with 5.1 rebounds per game. Bogdanovic scores 22.1 points per game and Mike Conley adds 13.9 points per game. Gobert adds 13.4 points per game while pulling in 13.9 rebounds per game -- the third-best total in the NBA.
While this game seems like it will be close at first glance, a closer look shows that this game will be Toronto’s against the spread. Both teams play great defense with Toronto and Utah ranking sixth and seventh in the NBA respectively. But while there is a discrepancy offensively, with Toronto ranking 12th in the NBA in scoring at 112.3 points per game and Utah coming in at 24th at 106.6 points per game, the Raptors improve to third in the NBA in scoring in home games at 119.4 points per game.
In addition, Utah is just 8-11 against the spread this year and is just 1-3 against the spread as a road underdog, while Toronto is second-best in the NBA with a 12-6 record against the spread and a 7-1 record against the spread at home. Look for the superior home offense of the Raptors to pull away and win by more than the three points they are giving up.