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Toronto Raptors Odds - Toughness, athleticism still concerns after offseason changes

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/3/2014 7:01:55 AM

At +7500, Toronto Raptors odds reflect a team far away from competing. Though offshore sportsbook bettors must concede improvement in Toronto, the numerous offseason tweaks made by General Manager Bryan Colangelo won't be enough to turn the tide in the powerful Eastern Conference. The playoffs, however, remain a possibility.

Toronto Raptors odds: +7500 to win NBA Championship

  • Turkoglu adds a big name to the offense
  • Too much is dependent on rookie DeRozan
  • Not enough toughness to compete in the East

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
Prized free agent Hedo Turkoglu is the big addition to the Raptors lineup. The former Magic star signed after a flirtation with Portland and will bring some much-needed scoring to Toronto (16.8 points per game last year). Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon all return. Bargnani enjoyed a breakout campaign (15.4 points, 5.3 rebounds per game) in his first season as a regular starter. Bosh is an All-Star but many question if he's a franchise player. DeMar DeRozan likely rounds out the top five; he gives Toronto its most athletic weapon since Vince Carter left town.

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: BENCH
Jarrett Jack was brought in to back up Calderon and he's an improvement over the youth the Raps were previously grooming at point guard. Third-year shooting guard Marco Belinelli was acquired from Golden State. He was impressive in limited action last season but only time will tell how he'll deal with a full season and increased minutes. Bigs Rasho Nesterovic and Reggie Evans add some much-needed grit to the lineup, though that's still a department Toronto sorely lacks in.

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
Toronto ranked 17th in scoring last season at 97 points per game, with Bosh and Bargnani leading the way. Adding Turkoglu should help increase that total, although rumors that he's already tired after an offseason of international basketball should concern betting players. Calderon is one of the better distributors in the NBA. DeRozan could be the key. Toronto's inability to slash and create has hampered the offense for years. The high-flying DeRozan could cure many of those ails, though a true contender shouldn't count on a rookie for such production.

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
You won't see much "D" in Toronto. Bosh is serviceable but Bargnani often looks lost; neither is particularly capable of handling a true big man like Dwight Howard. A major criticism of this franchise has been its lack of toughness, something that wasn't truly addressed in the offseason. That often filters down to the defense and rebounding, which impacts the team's NBA odds.

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Jay Triano was 25-40 after taking over the Raptors when Sam Mitchell was fired. It's Triano's first NBA head coaching job, although he has a wealth of international experience as head coach of Team Canada. The Raptors managed a 9-4 record down the stretch, but it remains to be seen whether the Canuck got the gig based on merit or his citizenship.

Toronto Raptors odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
Toronto certainly improved in the offseason but, in the competitive East, it may not be nearly enough. The two biggest question marks—toughness and athleticism—were hardly resolved in the offseason. DeRozan could be the key to the latter, but only so much can be asked of a first-year player. The Raptors should find their way into a low-seed playoff spot this season, but expecting anything other than a first-round exit is foolhardy. has you covered all season for Toronto Raptors odds and other NBA sports betting lines.

Craig Parsons is's college basketball expert.



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