Raptors underdogs at Jazz on Thursday NBA betting lines

NBA writer Doug Smith joins Smith and Jones to discuss his biggest surprise of the Raptors season so far, and that's the production off the bench from rookie Dalano Banton, saying he's provided a boost of energy that was very much unexpected.

The Toronto Raptors will be looking to halt a current two-game slide as they continue a six-game road trip on Thursday night by visiting the Utah Jazz as 9-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto opened its current trip on Monday with a 118-113 loss in Portland that marked the team’s fifth straight-up loss in six outings ahead of Thursday night’s matchup at Vivint Arena.

The Raptors’ current slide comes in the wake of a strong 6-3 straight-up start that briefly lifted them among the leaders in the Eastern Conference. However, things have gone downhill since the team opened November on a 5-0 SU run that featured four against-the-spread victories. In addition to dropping five of six, including a pair of outright defeats as favourites at online betting sites, the team has also covered the spread just once in its past six outings.

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The Raptors’ latest swoon coincides with the return of Pascal Siakam. The forward’s return from off-season surgery has failed to spark the team, which has now lost four straight games with him in the lineup. While the 27-year-old needed time to shake off the rust in his first two outings, it is tough to criticize his performance in his last two appearances. Siakam led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s 127-121 loss to Detroit, and followed up with a 20-point performance in Monday’s loss to the Trail Blazers.

Siakam has also been a steady producer in previous dates with the Jazz, averaging 24.7 points over his past six games against Utah and recording a pair of double-doubles.

While the Raptors look to halt their slide, the Jazz return to action seeking to tally consecutive SU wins for the first time in two weeks. Utah is coming off a dominating 120-85 win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday that marked the team’s second win on the five-game homestand they close out on Thursday, but lifted them to just 2-4 SU in their past six games.

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Like the Raptors, Utah’s recent slump comes on the heels of a fast start. The Jazz dominated during a season-opening 7-1 SU run, during which they claimed victory by double-digit margins on five occasions, and they sport the NBA’s fourth-ranked defence after limiting opponents to fewer than 100 points in six of their 14 overall contests.

The Jazz have also allowed just 107 points per games in two straight wins over Toronto. However, the Raptors have owned Utah at the sportsbooks, going 14-1-1 ATS in 16 clashes between the two teams since 2012 according to the OddsShark NBA Database.


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