Phoenix Suns vs Toronto Raptors Preview (12/30/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

After dropping four of their past five games, the Phoenix Suns will hope to put the recent slide behind them when they travel to Toronto to battle with the struggling Raptors. Our betting predictions and picks, current odds, updated injury reports for both teams, and projected starting lineups are detailed below; check it out!

Phoenix Suns Vs. Toronto Raptors Betting Odds

The Phoenix Suns are 2.5-point road dogs against the Toronto Raptors. Toronto will be without forwards Otto Porter Jr and Precious Achiuwa. Guard Fred VanVleet, who was a late scratch last night against the Memphis Grizzlies, will be a game-time decision. The Suns still are missing several key players, including Cameron Johnson, Cam Payne, Jae Crowder, Devin Booker, and Landry Shamet.

Phoenix Suns Vs. Toronto Raptors Prediction

Phoenix and Toronto have been on the losing side of most of their recent games. Both teams have struggled with injuries, although the Suns have had some of the worst luck in the NBA regarding health so far in the 2022-23 season.

The key to this game will be Fred VanVleet: will he play, or will he sit out his second-straight game? If VanVleet plays, the Raptors are in a great spot to secure a non-conference home win against Phoenix.

The Suns are without Cam Payne, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Devin Booker, and Landry Shamet, which will be a problem against a team like Toronto. The Raptors’ length and ball pressure on the perimeter will make it difficult for Phoenix to get into a groove offensively, especially since it is lacking bench depth.

Additionally, the Suns’ starters rank 27th in defensive rating, so Toronto won’t have an issue generating offense, which has been a common problem over the past few seasons. Don’t expect the Raptors to drop another home game on the second night of a back-to-back. Toronto against the spread is the play.

Betting Trends

  • Phoenix is 8-9 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Toronto is 9-9 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 37-33-1 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Deandre Ayton and the Raptors frontcourt is the obvious key matchup for this bout. Check out the detailed analysis below to see which player or team has the advantage in this game!

Deandre Ayton vs. Raptors Frontcourt

Despite being relatively undersized at the center position, the Toronto Raptors have done a fairly solid job of defending opposing big men; they rank 17th in points allowed to opposing centers and seventh in rebounds allowed to opposing centers. These numbers are impressive but slightly misleading due to Toronto’s pace of play (25th in the NBA.) Still, nothing can discredit the Raptors’ effort defending opposing bigs without a true center that boasts great size.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to see that effort mattering much as far as Ayton’s output is concerned. The Raptors just allowed Steven Adams to bring down 17 rebounds in their last game, and while Adams is a superior offensive rebounder, Ayton can hold his own.

Deandre Ayton ranks 12th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game amongst all players. Additionally, for players that have played at least 20 minutes per game this season, Ayton ranks first in adjusted offensive rebound chance percentage; he should have plenty of opportunities to use his strength and size to bully smaller Raptors frontcourt players for second-chance points. Advantage: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Mikal Bridges
SF: Torrey Craig
PF: Jock Landale
C: Deandre Ayton

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineups

PG: Fred VanVleet
SG: O.G. Anunoby
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Juancho Hernangomez

Key Injuries

Phoenix Suns Injuries: Cam Payne (Out), Cameron Johnson (Out), Landry Shamet (Out), Devin Booker (Out), Jae Crowder (Out)

Toronto Raptors Injuries: Fred VanVleet (Q), Precious Achiuwa (Out), Otto Porter Jr (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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