Raptors betting guide: Dim championship odds ahead of 2021-22 season

Eric Smith and Michael Grange discuss Masai Ujiri’s press conference after resigning with the Toronto Raptors and why it was a great day for basketball in Canada.

Betting prognosticators have the Toronto Raptors not doing too well in the 2021-22 NBA season.

According to Oddsshark, the Kyle Lowry-less Raptors squad may experience some growing pains this season.

Here’s a quick look at where the Raptors stand from a betting perspective right now.

NOTE: The odds in this piece are a reflection of OddsShark’s money lines when this article was published and may change in the future.

Raptors expected to be a middling team

According to OddsShark’s futures, the Raptors are tied for the 15th best odds to win the 2022 NBA championship at +8000, along with the New Orleans Pelicans.

This means that if you were to put down a bet for the Raptors to win it all this coming season, you receive $8,000.

Based on the odds, this projects the Raptors as a middle-of-the-pack team, something that doesn’t sound that bad. But when you consider that OddsShark has the Raptors tied with the New York Knicks for odds to win the Eastern Conference at +5000, while being the least likely team to win the Atlantic Division with a money line of +3500, Toronto fortunes look dim for the upcoming season.

As things stand with the Raptors heading into training camp (starting Sept. 28), this is a team with a lot of unknowns, influencing the prudent season projections for them from a betting standpoint. Simply put, we just don’t know what the Raptors are right now.

Sure, we know that Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam are good players in their own right, but are they good enough to lead a young team on their own without the sage guidance of Lowry helping them out? Siakam is likely to start the season on the injured list as he continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery.

As formidable as this team looks defensively, there’s still the question mark coming in of how this team will put up points. Should Siakam be unavailable for the start of the season, the team’s go-to scorer won’t be quite as apparent. It’s unclear whether the team’s offensive system will be able to generate enough quality scoring opportunities.

This all equates to bettors projecting the Raptors as being a middling team this season.

Barnes might be a good bet to win rookie of the year

In more positive news for Raptors fans, OddsShark’s money line for rookie of the year is much kinder to one Raptor in particular.

Toronto rookie Scottie Barnes has the fifth-best odds to win rookie of the year with a +1200 payout. Granted, this money line is decidedly worse than his fellow top-five picks, who all are in the triple digits. It does, however, make for a pretty good bet, particularly with Barnes’ strong Summer League performance.

Barnes probably won’t have explosive scoring performances like fellow rookies Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs. But he already looks to be an NBA-level defender, is a freakish athlete even by NBA standards and could already step in as one of the league’s premier playmaking forwards if given the chance to do so.

That could culminate in a stellar rookie campaign for the 20-year-old and maybe even a rookie of the year nod.

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Siakam a long shot for MVP

Lastly, OddsShark also released its money lines for MVP. While Siakam is included in the bunch, he is a long shot at +15000.

This is likely because of two factors. For one, as indicated by what OddsShark thinks of the Raptors this season, his team likely won’t be good enough to put him in the conversation. Second, unless he truly sets the league on fire, Siakam hasn’t put up the kind numbers in the past to really compete with the likes of Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokoumpo for NBA MVP honours.

The Toronto Raptors open their season on Oct. 20, taking on the Washington Wizards.

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