Clippers vs. Raptors Prediction: Kawhi Returns to Toronto

Kawhi Leonard

Getty Images Kawhi Leonard #2 of the L.A. Clippers

It’s the reunion we’ve all been waiting for. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA title last year thanks to the heroics of Kawhi Leonard. Now Kawhi returns to the location of his former glory as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers for a Wednesday night showdown north of the border. Leonard will be well rested for Wednesday’s reunion as he did not play in the Clippers 110-99 win over the Pacers on Monday night due to a sore left knee.

Toronto’s play has leveled off over the past week as the Raptors have lost 2 of their last 3 games at home after starting out the season 8-0 at Scotiabank Center.  The Raptors are coming off a tight 93-92 win over the Bulls on Monday as Pascal Siakam led the way with 22 points.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Raptors a 56.1% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Wednesday’s matchup between the Clippers and Raptors.

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Clippers vs. Raptors Game Details

Date: Wednesday, December 11
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Scotiabank Arena (Toronto, Ontario)
TV: ESPN, Prime Ticket, TSN
Clippers -2.5
Total: 222.5

*All lines, odds, and trends are courtesy of Covers & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Clippers -2 and has been bet up slightly to Clippers -2.5 with the action split as the slight majority of the bets are on Los Angeles and the slight majority of the money on Toronto. This indicates a slight reverse line movement favoring the Raptors.

Betting Trends

  • Clippers are 18-7 SU and 14-11 ATS this season
  • Raptors are 16-7 SU and 13-10 ATS this season
  • Under is 15-10 in Clippers games this season
  • Over is 12-10-1 in Raptors games this season

Analysis & Picks

This will be an emotional game for Kawhi Leonard. Raptors’ ticket-holders are being asked to be in their seats early on Wednesday for a special tribute to the playoff hero. It will be interesting to see how Leonard plays tonight and how the rest of the Clippers rally around their new superstar. Los Angeles has been a below-average road team this season with just a 5-6 record away from STAPLES Center but a 13-1 mark at home. The Raptors just snuck by the Bulls in what was a clear lookahead game on Monday. Overall, Toronto has not played well of late having lost three of their last four games despite the win over Chicago and it might be a good time to start fading the Raptors until further notice. Toronto double-teamed Leonard when the Clippers won a 98-88 game in Los Angeles back on November 11. Paul George did not play in that game as he was still recovering from offseason surgeries on both shoulders. George has been red-hot, scoring at least 25 points in four of the past five games. Toronto has won six of the last 10 meetings between these two teams and it’s hard not to take the points in what should be a close matchup. Keep an eye on the status of Fred VanVleet, who could miss his second straight game with a knee injury. If VanVleet plays, I like the Raptors.

PICK: Raptors +2.5 

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