76ers vs. Raptors NBA Preview

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a free throw. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a free throw. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

 

The Raptors are on a four-game winning streak and will take on the 76ers for the second straight game. Can the 76ers get back to their winning ways? Here’s the best bet.

 

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors

at Amalie Arena

 

The Toronto Raptors are currently above .500 and playing their best basketball to date with a four-game winning streak. The Raptors are 7-3 in their last 10 games after defeating the 76ers 110-103 at home just two days ago.

While the Raptors have looked solid lately, the 76ers have looked fantastic all season long with a 20-11 record. However, they’ve gone 5-5 in their last 10 games and will look to put an end to the Raptors winning streak.

The 76ers are scoring 113 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 53.9 percent. The Sixers struggle to hold onto the basketball, turning the ball over 15.6 percent of the time. When they’re able to get shots up, the Sixers do a great job on the offensive glass and get to the foul line at a premier rate.

The Sixers are led by Joel Embiid who is averaging 30.3 points per game along with 11.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Tobias Harris has chipped in with 20.6 points per game while Ben Simmons has earned 15.7 points per game. Those three have combined for about 27 rebounds per game this season which is just absurd from this big three.

Defensively, Philadelphia is allowing 111.2 points per 100 possessions and has allowed a 53.4 percent effective field goal percentage. The Sixers will force turnovers at an average pace of 14.4 percent but are above average in defensive rebounding and limiting other teams from offensive rebounds.

The Toronto offense hasn’t been terrific but when they get hot, it’s a whole other story. The Raptors average 113.8 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 53.8 percent. They’ll limit turnovers but struggle on the offensive glass, however, the Raptors have been great at getting to the line.

Pascal Siakam leads the team in points and rebounds with 20.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Point guard Fred VanVleet has also chipped in with 20.1 points along with 6.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game.

During this winning streak, Kyle Lowry hasn’t played since February 16 against the Bucks. Since then, the Raptors have won three straight games against the Bucks, Timberwolves and 76ers. Lowry is expected to be out again in this one.

Defensively, the Raptors have allowed 11.4 points per 100 possessions and have allowed an effective field goal percentage of 53.9 percent. Toronto leads the league in forcing turnovers with a percentage of 16.7 percent and should be able to force the 76ers into plenty of mistakes as the 76ers are 27th in the league in turnovers with 15.6 percent per game.

The Raptors will however struggle on the glass. They’ve been terrible holding opponents off the offensive glass and have also been having a fouling frenzy this season, with a free throw rate of 24 on defense. The Sixers should be able to work the offensive glass and get to the line at ridiculous paces in this game, which was something they did very well with last time out.

The Sixers got to the line more, added 10 more rebounds and forced more turnovers and yet still lost that game because they shot 38.8 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from long range. That should change tonight. I like the Sixers to win in this spot.

NBA Pick: 76ers (-125) at Bet 365 

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