Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors (By: Miyagi)
Bad news for the Raptors despite their win over the Pelicans as they lost Lowry and Ibaka to injuries in that game and they are both key players for their rotation.
Without their second-best scorer Lowry (21.8p, 4.3r, 6.5a) and their backup center Ibaka (14p, 6.r) The Raptors will need to find scorers in this game as well as big bodies to counter Lakers' frontcourt strength. Siakam is going to have a hell of a tough matchup today against AD, who is after the DPOY award this season and he has to make a case for himself in games like this one. VanVleet and Powell (will replace Lowry in the starting lineup) also have tough matchups against the good defenders, Bradley and Green.
I will not take any chances with those guys. Instead, I will go with Gasol, who IMO is a key player for the Raptors in this game, for a few simple reasons.
First of all, his minutes are secured here. The only big guy the Raptors have as backup is the second-year Forward C.Boucher and not having a big guy on the court at all times today is not an option against McGee, Howard, AD, and LeBron thus Gasol is going to have his hands full today.
Apart from that, Gasol should have a boost in his rebounds today (or at least a great chance to do so) since the Lakers' Centers don't have the ability to stretch the court and draw big guys away from the basket, while Raptors' top rebounder Siakam will be busy battling/ boxing out AD.
Gasol should also find ways to contribute offensively, other than assisting, and as a big guy who can shoot threes reasonably well, he definitely can do a lot of damage if there are no switches and he is guarded by Howard and McGee.
I believe the Raptors can stay in this game for 3 quarters and as a result, Gasol will stay on the court for 30 minutes or so. I like his line here a lot. 10 points, 8 rebounds or even a couple of threes and 12 rebounds and this is a winner.
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Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors prediction
Marc Gasol - Over 17.5 Points and ReboundsOdds: 1.83 at Bet365
Result: 9 LOST (-9 units)
The betting odds are from the time when the article was published and are subject to change. Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors betting tips and match preview represents the personal opinion of the author (Miyagi). The predictions are verified and provided in good faith, but no earnings are guaranteed. Please play responsibly.