nba
01.03.2024

Golden State Warriors @ Toronto Raptors Game Preview and Pick: Warriors Sweep Back-To-Back

Golden State’s four-game road trip could not be off to a better start as they’ve picked up two straight wins including one last night in Madison Square Garden. As the Warriors continue to ascend into a Golden State team we’ve become used to, they will head even further north tonight to take on the Toronto Raptors.

Finding success in back-to-backs takes a lot of discipline, and as a result, the Warriors are one of the best teams in the league when playing on no rest, which is part of the reason why I think they are a great team to back tonight as road favorites.

Game Preview

Toronto came out of the All-Star break like a bat out of hell, but their three-game winning streak would end on Wednesday night with a 136-125 loss to the Mavericks. Before we get into the concerns about their defense, the Raptors deserve their flowers for how well they’ve played on the offensive end.

After shooting 47% from the field and 37% from three against Dallas, the Raptors have the 9th-best effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage in the league since the break. With shooting numbers like that, Toronto has earned themselves the 6th highest points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time (122.2), per Cleaning the Glass.

While the Raptors' offense has looked dynamic, thanks to the play of RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, the same cannot be said about their defense. In the four games they’ve played after the break, Toronto is allowing an average of 118 points per game, which is the 5th highest total in that span.

Toronto’s success on offense and struggles on defense set up an interesting matchup for tonight since Golden State has been winning games with the opposite formula. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Warriors rank 4th in points allowed per 100 possessions in non-garbage time since the break (105.4), but they are also 15th in that span in average points per game and 17th in field goal percentage.

In their 110-99 win over the Knicks last night, Steph Curry and Jonathan Kuminga carried the Warriors offense. Still, arguably, the most significant positive that could’ve been drawn from that game was that Klay Thompson has become comfortable with coming off the bench. Over the last three games, Thompson has averaged 21.3 points per game, and he has knocked down at least four threes in all three of those games.

Pick for the Game

Sports Interaction Sportsbook has the Golden State Warriors listed as a (-2.5) point road favorite in this matchup, and given their success on the road and on limited rest this season, I think they are the team to back. According to Team Rankings, the Warriors are 7-3-1 ATS when they have the rest disadvantage this season, and they are also 19-8 ATS on the road, so this is the exact type of game they thrive in.

Not only is Toronto 13-16 ATS at home this season, but their lack of perimeter defense could prove to be their downfall tonight. Over their last ten games, the Raptors rank 26th in three-pointers allowed per game (14.3), and in that same span, the Warriors rank 1st in percentage of points from threes and 2nd in three-point shooting percentage (40.4%).

Toronto takes a much different approach on offense, as they get most of their scoring done from inside the paint. Well, over their last five road games, the Warriors have allowed the 10th fewest points in the paint per game (48.4). Golden State has also averaged the 4th most defensive rebounds per game on the road in that span, so I think Toronto will have too many one-and-done possessions to keep pace with the Warriors' three-point shooting.

Recap

  • Golden State Warriors (-2.5)(-110) on Sports Interaction and FanDuel

*odds subject to change

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