Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Preview (10/26/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

After clashing in last season’s First Round, the Philadelphia 76ers (1-3) once again meet the Toronto Raptors (2-2). Backup point guard De’Anthony Melton is questionable for Philadelphia, while Scottie Barnes and Otto Porter Jr are questionable for Toronto.

Can the Raptors avenge their 4-2 series loss and hand the 76ers their fourth loss? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are found below.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

The spread opened at Raptors PK (or +0), but the line has shifted to +2 Raptors. Toronto’s moneyline stands at -125, while the 76ers reside at +110. For Philadelphia’s moneyline to be profitable, they must win this matchup at least 48% of the time. The 212 over under mark is the lowest total for Wednesday games.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors Prediction

I snatched the 76ers PK and their moneyline early. Since they were both offered at -110, it’s essentially a two unit play on the 76ers to win at -110.

Although the 76ers have been out of sync to start the season, they made strides in their victory over Indiana. The offense finally functioned smoothly because Harden and Embiid didn’t force inorganic shots. Philadelphia also oozed a sense of urgency that was previously lacking. Considering Toronto’s defense wreaks havoc on sloppy play and churns out contested shots, the 76ers cannot afford to take a step backwards here.

Embiid’s play on both ends is the key for the 76ers. While Siakam and Koloko have valiantly defended the paint, Toronto doesn’t possess the size and skill combination to counter him. Embiid can seal either of them in the low post and exert his will through the number of options in his arsenal. The Raptors cannot send help inside because Philadelphia surrounds Embiid with four excellent three-point shooters.

It’s imperative that Embiid pursues this course and quits the pull-up midrange jumpers. His jumpers are not a serious threat to the Raptors, who would love for Embiid’s diet to largely consist of these attempts. By anchoring himself in the low post, he can attempt high percentage shots and draw numerous fouls. If Siakam gets into foul trouble early because of this strategy, then Toronto’s offense may wither. Defensively shutting down Siakam would also provide a similar result.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s offense is worrisome at the moment. They have yet to break 110 points, and they are 22nd in Offensive Rating. Outside of Siakam – who must contend with Tucker and Embiid – they lack a go-to scorer that consistently breaks down the defense off the dribble and drops 24-28 points. VanVleet, Trent Jr, Anunoby, and Barnes are all good offensive options, but none of them resemble the 1b scorer that Toronto requires.

VanVleet and Trent Jr defend at a high level, but Harden and Maxey are a different beast. Both 76ers guards score on or off-ball, and their three-point shooting can heat up at any moment. While I expect the Raptors guards to bother the 76ers, there isn’t much they can do if Harden and Maxey play to their potential.

Overall, the Raptors defense scares me here, but the 76ers have the personnel to break them. It’s just a matter of which Philadelphia team shows up to the game. The lifeless one that heaves contested shots, or the one that moves the ball and genuinely seeks out the greatest shot quality?

Betting Trends

  • 76ers are 6-15 ATS in the last 21 meetings in Toronto
  • Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings

Key Matchups

Which team will win the positional matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

PJ Tucker vs. OG Anunoby & Scottie Barnes

The 76ers acquired Tucker to space the floor and lock down opposing wings. He’s been underwhelming to start the season, but this game resembles a fantastic bounce back spot. Toronto’s offense relies on a balanced attack to compensate for the lack of premier offensive talent. Therefore, neutralizing one of their key cogs would disrupt the offense and potentially cause it to limp. If Tucker can extinguish Anunoby and Barnes when he marks them, then Philadelphia’s offense in all likelihood pulls away from the Raptors.

Fred VanVleet vs. James Harden

VanVleet will often have the unenviable task of guarding Harden. Whether it’s in isolation or the pick and roll, VanVleet must survive the night for Toronto to limit Philadelphia. It’s inevitable that VanVleet gives up a certain shot, and he has to make sure it is the step-back three-pointer, not a floater or layup. He cannot allow Harden to penetrate the paint because Harden’s interior scoring has been ruthlessly effective so far. If he beats Toronto with a number of step-back threes, then so be it.

Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Tyrese Maxey
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: PJ Tucker
C: Joel Embiid

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineups

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: Gary Trent Jr
SF: OG Anunoby
PF: Scottie Barnes
C: Pascal Siakam

Key Injuries

Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: De’Anthony Melton (Q)

Toronto Raptors Injuries: Scottie Barnes (Q), Otto Porter Jr (Q)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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