Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 12/21/18: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Odds, Daily Fantasy, Betting

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

The Toronto Raptors (24-9) welcome in their long-time nemesis, the Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24) into the Scotiabank Arena tonight, but even though these teams have met many times before, and the Cavaliers usually consistently end the Raptors’ postseason runs, things are different this time around. With LeBron James now in Los Angeles, and with Kawhi Leonard now north of the border, the Raptors have had the top record in the Eastern Conference for a majority of the season, whereas the Cavs have been at or near the bottom.

The teams just recently met earlier this month, with the Raptors taking the win, 106-95 behind Leonard’s 34 point, nine rebounds night.

The Raptors are coming into tonight’s game having dropped two games out West before rallying to beat another top Eastern Conference team, the Indiana Pacers. The Cavs also have a recent win against the Pacers, which required some late-game heroics by Larry Nance Jr., but they came back down to earth in a 110-99 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

TV Schedule

Date: 12/21/18
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Arena: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Channel: FSO, Sportsnet One

Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup

PositionStarter
PGKyle Lowry
SGDanny Green
SFKawhi Leonard
PFPascal Siakam
CSerge Ibaka

Raptors Analysis

Toronto RaptorsToronto started the season off on a tear going 12-3 in the month of November, but lately, they’ve had problems finding their footing, winning just half of their last ten games, at times looking unbeatable and other times looking pedestrian.

They have, however, been dealing with several injuries. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry missed the last three games and is questionable for tonight, and Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valnciunas have also missed time.

With Ibaka and Valanciunas out, Greg Monroe stepped in and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes. As has been the case most of the season, Pascal Siakam became the second option on offense behind Leonard. The recent player of the week winner, delivered once again, with 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Leonard has been tough to stop for the Cavaliers in the first two games of the season series, and while Lowry being out hurts, the Raptors had to play without him against the Cavaliers earlier this season and seemed to have no issues with Fred VanVleet running the point.

Raptors Quick Links: Raptors Starting Lineup, Raptors Roster, Raptors Depth Chart, Raptors Injuries, Raptors News, Raptors Schedule

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PositionStarter
PGCollin Sexton
SGBrandon Knight
SFCedi Osman
PFKevin Love
CAnte Zizic

Cavaliers Analysis

Cleveland CavaliersWhile the Cavs played spoiler to the Indiana Pacers and their win streak recently, Cleveland is still trying to figure out exactly who they are at this point. There really aren’t many remnants left of the LeBron-led Cavs team, with George Hill and Kyle Korver being moved, and J.R. Smith not with the team. The Cavs fired head coach Tyronn Lue in helps it would be the impetus to some change, but successor Larry Drew has not had much more luck at the helm of the team.

The Cavs were unable to sustain any momentum from the win over the Pacers, and with the loss against Charlotte, have fallen to 30th in defensive rating, giving up 112.1 points per 100 possessions.

While there haven’t been many positives to look to in The Land this season, Jordan Clarkson came off the bench for 20 points against the Hornets, and Jaron Blossomgame, who has spent time in the San Antonio Spurs’ system before signing a two-way contract with the Cavs, has reached double figures in two of his recent games, with 15 points coming in the loss to Charlotte.

Cavaliers Quick Links: Cavaliers Starting Lineup, Cavaliers Roster, Cavaliers Depth Chart, Cavaliers Injuries, Cavaliers News, Cavaliers Schedule

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds

Even having several starters injured doesn’t seem to be enough to sway the Raptors’ chances of winning at home tonight. They are -13 point favorites. The over/under is set at 207 points, and the Cavs are -1000 on the moneyline with minimal line movement.

The Cavs are 86-84 on the road, but that win percentage shrinks as the underdog, where they are 30-59. Toronto has a 74 percent win percentage at home and as the favorite.

Odds & Line Movement Links: Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Vegas Odds (All NBA Games Today)

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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks

Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard is the stud pick for this matchup. He has a FanDuel salary of $10,400 and a projection of 47.52 points.

There’s not likely a true stud pick for the Cavs, so the combo stud/value pick is Larry Nance (FD-$7.3k). Even when he’s been just at or under double digits in scoring, Nance has also contributed with rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He is projected to finish with 35.73 fantasy points.

As long as Siakam’s salary is where it has been, he’s about as automatic as it gets for a value. He has a salary of $6,900 and a projection of 29.05 points.

Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections. 

Michael is Chief Editor at Lineups.com. He has decades of combined experience in traditional print journalism and online media and is the publisher of the Project Spurs Network, which includes 13 team-specific sports media sites and the flagship ProjectSpurs.com. He is also the creator of the first Spurs podcast and the longest-running sports podcast on the internet, the Spurscast, and was formerly the host of the News 4 San Antonio Sports Roundtable.

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