Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors Prediction: Will It Be Another Beatdown?
When: Sunday, November 21, 8:30 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: NBA League Pass
Spread: Warriors -9
Warriors vs. Raptors Prediction
We’re now a full fifth of the way into the NBA season, and the only thing that’s clear is that Golden State is in a class of their own, at least where covering the spread is concerned.
They’re probably in their own tier on the court as well, but at least teams like the Suns and Nets can make an argument. For our purposes here? It’s Golden State alone on top.
The Warriors are leading the league in cover rate at 73.3 percent and are one of just three teams covering more than a third of their games. They own the only double-digit average margin of victory in the NBA as well, and at 13.0 points, it towers over second-place Utah. They also own the highest average margin against the spread at plus 7.3, which is one of only two such figures above 5.0 (the Cavs are the other at plus 5.9). And yet none of the above tells the full story for Sunday’s game against the Raptors, as this affair is on the Warriors’ home court, where all of the above numbers look even more impressive:
- 75 percent cover rate
- 16.6 average margin of victory
- Plus 9.1 average margin against the spread
Not that this is an automatic pick. The team they’re playing has a pretty good road record this year, with the Raptors checking in at 6-3 against the spread away from home, with a 4.6 average road margin of victory and a 9.5 average road margin against the spread. That last number is the best of any team in basketball when they’re on the road.
Here’s the thing, though: while the Raptors have certainly played a number of mediocre-to-good teams on the road, they’ve only played one elite team away from home, and they lost to the Jazz in Utah by 16 just three nights ago. That loss was the sixth dropped cover in seven games for Toronto before they beat the dead-man-walking Kings in Sacramento on Friday night.
They’ll get another dose of harsh reality on Sunday. Take advantage of the fact that this line is single digits. Give the points at home.
Warriors vs. Raptors Pick
Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks Prediction
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: NBA League Pass
New York won a game they absolutely had to have against the Rockets on Saturday night, but aside from a fourth-quarter flurry where they started to figure some things out, it was arguably their worst game of the season. They came out like a group that had enjoyed a boozy Manhattan brunch earlier in the day and had it been against any other team, the early deficit would have been three times the 10 points it ended up topping out at.
This was par for the course for one of the more frustrating teams in the league this year, both for fans and bettors alike. The Knicks are now 7-9 against the spread and own the third-worst average margin against the spread in the NBA. It’s quite a turnaround from last season when they were the only team in the league to cover at least 60 percent of their games.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised. Aside from their issues integrating new pieces around last year’s MVP candidate Julius Randle, recent history has shown that the most surprising team one year often has a lot of difficulties replicating that success. Of the teams to lead the league in covers in each of the three seasons before last, two finished below-.500 against the spread the following year, while only the 2019-20 Bucks (barely) covered more games than they didn’t.
Now the Knicks go into Chicago – this year’s third-best team against the spread, with a 4th, ranked average margin against the spread of positive 6.1 – on the second night of a back-to-back. They do so with little to rely on outside of the play of their outstanding bench, which has been excellent.
The Knicks beat the Bulls in Chicago earlier in the season, and while that does show they’re capable of pulling it off, it’s also tough to imagine a repeat performance, especially given how New York is playing. So give the points at home.