Raptors vs. Rockets player prop best bets and predictions from Scottie Barnes to Fred VanVleet

Scottie Barnes and the Raptors face the Rockets in Houston on Friday, the third leg of Toronto’s six-game road trip. It will mark former Raptors guard Fred VanVleet’s first matchup against his old squad since joining the Rockets as a free agent last summer. The opening betting line is Rockets -5 at home.

“We the North” has become “Trust the Process 2.0” lately, with a changing of the guard in terms of the supporting cast around Barnes. The third-year franchise player went from playing alongside O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam to Bruce Brown and R.J. Barrett. To make things even more complicated, big man Jakob Poeltl (ankle) and recent acquisition Immanuel Quickley (quad) have both been dealing with nagging injuries. 

Despite a recent five-game losing streak, Darko Rajaković’s squad has offered up plenty of positive signs this month. The Raps just beat the Bulls 118-107, helping us nail our best bet against the spread and narrowly bagging us the UNDER (225.5!). We also hit on the scoring OVER for both Bruce Brown (12.5 points) and DeMar DeRozan (23.5 points). Who said Raptors games can’t make you money!?

Toronto nearly pulled off a road win in Atlanta on Sunday, falling 126-125. The Raps have put up at least 124 points six times this month, they have defeated the Cavaliers, Warriors and Heat — and they’ve challenged a handful of good squads like the Clippers, Lakers, and Kings to close battles. This squad reminds us of the Pistons a couple years ago: always a threat against the spread, sometimes a surprise upset on the moneyline.

Let’s get to our best bets, top props, and final score prediction for Raptors-Rockets this evening in Houston. Good luck, have fun, and be sure to head to BetMGM, an authorized gaming operator of the NBA, for all the latest odds and props.

Raptors vs. Rockets betting odds, trends and insights

All odds and betting insights courtesy of BetMGM.

  • ATS: Rockets -5 (-115) | Raptors +5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Rockets -190 | Raptors +190
  • Over/under: O 228.5 (-110) | U 228.5 (-110)

The Raptors enter the Toyota Center getting 5.5 points and +190 on the moneyline, an implied win probability of just under 35 percent. Oddsmakers are clearly unimpressed by the Raps’ victory over the Bulls, who have dropped plenty of games to inferior opponents this season. 

Who can blame oddsmakers for making Toronto a heavy underdog? The Raps have dropped five of their past six games and nine of their past 11. Their road record now stands at a putrid 7-17, while the Rockets have a sparkling 17-9 home record. Houston is also 12-4 against the spread as a favorite, and 16-9-1 ATS as a home favorite. 

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However, the pendulum might be swinging for both squads (in opposite directions). Ime Udoka’s Rockets have gone 4-9 ATS over their past 13 games, and they have just three wins over their past 10 contests. Toronto also always seems to play Houston tough, having won five of its past meetings with H-Town over the past three years. Also of note, seven of Toronto’s past eight games have gone UNDER, 

As we mentioned in the intro, Raptors center Jakob Poeltl (ankle) and Immanuel Quickley (thigh) are questionable to play. Toronto swingman R.J. Porter (knee) is considered day-to-day, while backup big Jontay Porter (back) is questionable. Rockets forward Tari Eason (leg) and veteran guard Victor Oladipo (knee) will both be sidelined. 

Raptors vs. Rockets prediction

The Raptors deserve far more respect than the oddsmakers seem to be giving them lately, but we’re happy to take the value whenever we can get it. Toronto looked much more fluid on both parts of the floor on Wednesday against the Bulls, racking up a whopping 34 assists on 43 made field goals while maintaining staggering shooting splits of 51.8/48.3/90.0. 

Six Raptors scored in double-digits in that contest, five of whom had 16-plus points. They turned the ball over plenty — 19 when all was said and done — but they made up for that with timely defense and dominant rebounding on both ends of the floor. 

The Rockets. meanwhile, have hit the skids. They’ve lost two of their past three games of four of their past six, and 11 of their past 15. Whereas they looked like a fringe NBA Play-In team earlier this season, they appear to be lottery-bound now. 

The Raptors might be somewhere in between those two statuses, but at least they’re pretty fun to watch. Brown has immediately gelled with this squad, fellow veteran Thaddeus Young has been crucial as Toronto’s small-ball five, and the perimeter trio of Dennis Schröder, Gary Trent, and Jordan Nwora has exceeded expectations of late.

This Toronto team — more so than the sum of its individual parts — could be a lot for Houston to handle tonight. We’re taking the Rockets with the points, but we certainly understand if you want to buy a couple extra points for insurance by taking on some juice.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Rockets 116, Raptors 112

Raptors vs. Rockets: Top prop bets

Scottie Barnes rebounds — UNDER 7.5 (-120)

With Siakam, Anunoby, and Prescious Achiuwa out of the picture and Quickley, Poeltl, and Barrett all on the injury report, Barnes obviously needs to be the franchise player that Rajaković, Masai Ujiri, and the Raptors believe him to be. That means taking on more offensive responsibilities and perhaps less crashing the boards. 

MORE: Scottie Barnes among biggest All-Star snubs

Barnes has shown plenty of skill on the glass this season, racking up double-digit rebounds 18 times and eclipsing seven in 27 of his 46 games this season. However, he has only hit eight once in the Raps’ past seven games and twice in January (14 games). With big men Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. monitoring the glass for the Rockets, we expect Barnes to get stifled on the boards once again this evening. 

Stay tuned for more player props as they become available between now and game time!

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