Charity stripe success helping Raptors become NBA’s best bet

The Toronto Raptors could be argued as the class of the Eastern Conference, if it weren’t that LeBron James fellow over in Cleveland. What can be argued is that the team from “The Six” is the best bet through the early part of this NBA season.

Toronto improved to an NBA best 12-5-1 against the spread after Wednesday night’s 120-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies as 13-point home chalk, making it the fifth consecutive game in a row in which they have covered the spread. The win also marked the second time in this young season they have covered the spread in four consecutive games.

But what exactly is making the Raptors such a successful bet?

First of all, the Raptors seem to be able to cover spreads of every shape and size, especially during their current streak.

Toronto covered in its last two wins over Memphis and Philadelphia as heavy home favorites (-13 and -15 respectively). They covered as slight road faves in Milwaukee and as mid road dogs in Houston and large road dogs versus the Clippers.

Even when they don’t cover, they come awfully close.

Despite losing both games of the most brutal back-to-back games the NBA could schedule, on the road in Cleveland then coming home to play Golden State the next night, they performed well at the betting window. They covered as 5.5-point dogs versus the Cavs, and pushed as 6-point dogs against the Warriors.

Second, the Raptors have been very efficient scorers this season. They currently rank second in field goal percentage (thanks in large part to DeMar DeRozan’s insanely hot start) and fourth in 3-point percentage.

But most importantly, especially for bettors who are clinging to every point at the end of the game, not only do they get to the free throw line, they hit them.

The Raptors rank second in the NBA in free throw percentage, hitting 81.2 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe and are 6th in free throw attempts at 478. That equates to them rankings second in free throws made per game at 21.6. In fact they are the only team in the NBA with more than 475 attempts while still hitting more than 80 percent of their free throws.

Not only are they hitting those free throws, they are hitting them late.

Check out the bet graph from Wednesday’s game versus Memphis:

In the final 6:35 of the game the Raptors went 8-9 (88.9%) from the line to push them past the 13-point chalk and it comes from everyone.

DeRozan, shoots 9.4 free throws per game hitting 82 percent, Kyle Lowry hits 85 percent and Terrance Ross is hitting 95 percent. Even starting center Jonas Valanciunas hits 81 percent of his attempts.

Free throws determine a lot of bets in basketball games and the Raptors are one of the best.

Toronto is currently a 10-point home fave for Friday night’s matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers.


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