Ask the Oddsmakers: Are Sportsbooks Sleeping on the Raptors?

Chris Boucher and the Toronto Raptors have won six straight games and are only 4.5 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Boucher and the Toronto Raptors have won six straight games and are only 4.5 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. / Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Back in mid-December, the Cleveland Cavaliers were listed as high as 500/1 to win the NBA Finals over at WynnBET Sportsbook. At that point in the season, they were in the No. 5 seed in the East, still catching NBA fans and bettors by surprise.

Now, the No. 4 Cavaliers are 45/1 to win the Finals and 17/1 to win the East, separated by only a game and a half from the top spot in the conference.

Could the Toronto Raptors be the next team to follow suit?

Toronto has won six straight and should make it seven on the road vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder as a 10-point road favorite this evening. After starting 1-6, and hovering below .500 through the end of 2021 at 14-17, they've gone 15-6 since. Only the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies have won more games in that time.

In that time, Toronto has gone from a bottom 10 offense to a top 10 offense, ranking 9th in NBA offensive rating, as well as top 10 in net rating. Their defense, while still a work in progress has also been a top 10 rated unit since the start of 2022 via NBA Stats.

What really makes the Raptors stand out is how versatile their entire roster is. Outside of Fred VanVleet at just over six-feet tall, and Malachi Flynn at 6'1", the entire roster is built around players that can guard any position on the floor at 6'5" or taller. They can create mismatches anywhere on the perimeter or inside based on who other teams have on the court.

Now is the Time to Bet the Raptors Before the Line Moves

Over at WynnBET, the Raptors' odds as of Tuesday, February 8 were all the way at +15000, or 150/1. Now, they've moved down to +10000, which still remains longer than the consensus number.

Toronto is also at +4000 to win the East, and +650 to take home the Atlantic Division over the sinking Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

I reached out to WynnBET Senior Trading Manager Alan Berg to get the oddsmakers' perspective on why the Raptors' odds still remain as long as they are:

“We’re OK taking a bet there, which is why we’re a little higher for the moment. They’ve been coming on strong but I still think it’s going to be a tough road against the heavyweights of the Eastern Conference. As a Raptor fan, I hope I am very wrong. We are nearing the NBA trade season, so there are going to be some wild moves."

With the trading team already taking an initial move to go from 150/1 to 100/1, this may be the last opportunity to grab any Raptors futures at these kinds of odds.

Follow all of Ben Heisler's betting picks in real-time HERE!