The San Antonio Spurs may need to escalate their tank to protect their Top 3 lottery odds, but the Toronto Raptors also need to dive to the bottom a bit if they want to best their chances this spring.
It may seem like mid-February is too early to worry about draft chances, but a loss now helps those quiet causes just as much as a loss in April will. Then again, players and coaches do not tank, organizations do. The Spurs and Raptors on the court tonight will not worry about the draft: they will try to win. With the Raps at home, NBA odds have them as 6-point favorites.
San Antonio has found a piece of offensive success in the last two months, one that could make tonight interesting if a particular rookie gets hot. Yes, let’s lean into Victor Wembanyama’s shooting in my free NBA picks for the Spurs vs Raptors on February 12.
Spurs vs Raptors odds
Spurs vs Raptors predictions
Victor Wembanyama is 47 games into his NBA career, notable in part because he is trending toward playing at least 65 games and thus being eligible to win Rookie of the Year over Chet Holmgren. It is also notable because a trend has flipped already in just those 47 games.
In the first 26 games of his career, Wembanyama shot terribly. The instinct may be to say “poorly,” but that would be a lie. It was terrible. He shot 43.3% from the field and 27.8% from deep.
But he adjusted quickly and drastically. In his last 21 games, Wembanyama has shot 50% from the field and 36.2% from deep. Not to overblow this stretch since about Christmas, but this kind of adjustment and growth curve may be the best indicator for the ceiling on Wembanyama’s career.
Taking five threes per game across 21 games is enough of a sample size to trust. And in 16 of those 21 games, the French rookie hit multiple 3-pointers — including each of his last four games.
Why have sportsbooks not raised his 3-pointer prop to 2.5? In part because the proper number on that would be well into plus money, something akin to the +170 offered by PointsBet on an alternate number of three-plus made threes tonight. Of those 16 games with multiple made 3-pointers, Wembanyama hit three of them in only four games.
Thus, 1.5 continues to make sense, and it brings us value.
Without Pascal Siakam’s absurd wingspan, the Toronto Raptors may be down to only Jakob Poeltl who can bother Wembanyama at all as he puts up a shot, and that will be a risky endeavor for Poeltl as that will leave little-to-no rim protection to deter any San Antonio drives. Wembanyama should get clear looks at the hoop from deep, and he has been burying those since late December.
My best bet: Victor Wembanyama Over 1.5 made threes (-165 at PointsBet)
Spurs vs Raptors same-game parlay
Victor Wembanyama Over 1.5 made threes
Jakob Poeltl Over 9.5 rebounds
The alternate number on Wembanyama’s made threes was considered for this entire handicap, but the Raptors have embraced a slower pace since moving O.G. Anunoby and then Pascal Siakam, ranking No. 22 in pace since trading Siakam in mid-January. They should slow the game down, enough reason to avoid any alternate numbers, and enough reason to bet this Under.
The San Antonio Spurs’ pace is middling, but their offensive rating as a whole is ugly. It’s one spot behind the Raps, the two ranking No. 25 and No. 26 since the middle of January. That offensive ineffectiveness should be more apparent than the near-equivalent in defensive sloppiness.
In other words, there will be missed shots. And with Wembanyama taking five threes, there will be plenty of shots where Poeltl is the only seven-footer near the rim. He doesn’t need that edge to grab boards, averaging 10.6 rebounds in his last five games.
Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.
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Spurs vs Raptors spread and Over/Under analysis
This spread opened with Toronto favored by 7.0 on Sunday afternoon, little action coming in while the gambling world was distracted by the Super Bowl. Shortly after the NFL season ended, though, this number fell to -6 and even dabbled at -5.5 at some books. By Monday morning, -6 was the universal spread.
The Raptors have been favored by multiple buckets just twice in 13 games since trading Siakam, losing both games against the spread including one of them outright.
This total opened at 233 on Sunday and began climbing before Monday’s sunrise, peaking at 237 at some books in the mid-morning. To again focus on Toronto’s stretch since its roster was remade, it has cashed the Under in eight of 13 games since moving Siakam.
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Spurs vs Raptors betting trend to know
Eight of San Antonio’s last nine games have gone to the Under, those eight falling short of their pregame totals by an average of 10.7 points. Find more NBA betting trends for Spurs vs. Raptors.
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Spurs vs Raptors game info
|Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada
|Monday, February 12, 2024
|7:30 p.m. ET
|TSN, Bally Sports SW-SA
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