Thunder vs. Raptors NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, March 22 (Thunder are must bet)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Oklahoma City Thunder-Toronto Raptors matchup on Friday night in the NBA.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2).
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2). / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are heavily favored on the road on Friday night, and for good reason. 

The Toronto Raptors are on an eight-game losing streak, going just 1-9 in their last 10 contests, and they’ll be down four starters in this matchup. Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Jakob Poeltl are all out in this game, a massive blow to a Raptors team that is already one of the worst in the East. 

Toronto lost by 34 points in its last game against the Sacramento Kings, so it’s no surprise that oddsmakers have set the Thunder as 15-point favorites in this game. 

OKC has had its own issues at times as a road favorite, but is the time primed to pick up an easy win and stay atop the Western Conference?

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Here’s a look at the latest odds and my best bet for this game: 

Thunder vs. Raptors odds, spread and total

Thunder vs. Raptors how to watch

  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Scotiabank Arena
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Oklahoma, Sportsnet CA
  • Thunder record: 48-20
  • Raptors record: 23-46

Thunder vs. Raptors injury reports

Thunder injury report

  • Ousmane Dieng – out
  • Adam Flagler – out
  • Keyontae Johnson – out
  • Olivier Sarr – out

Raptors injury report

  • Scottie Barnes – out
  • DJ Carton – out
  • Immanuel Quickley – out
  • RJ Barrett – out
  • Chris Boucher – out
  • Jakob Poeltl – out

Thunder vs. Raptors key players to watch

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: This is a bit of a homecoming for the Canada native, and SGA is coming off a 31-point game in a double-digit win over the Utah Jazz. On the season, the MVP candidate is averaging 30.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game while shooting 54.4 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from 3. 

Toronto Raptors

Gradey Dick: The rookie got the start against the Kings, but he struggled in 32 minutes of action, shooting 1-for-8 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3, ending up with five points, one rebound and three assists. Dick has put together some decent scoring games this season, but the Raptors need him to step up in a big way to have any chance to end their losing streak tonight. 

Thunder vs. Raptors prediction and pick

I really can’t bet on anything but the Thunder to cover in this game given the injury report for the Raptors. 

Toronto simply had no offense against the Kings, and the Thunder are a much better defensive team than the Kings, ranking No. 5 in the league in defensive rating. 

Now, the Thunder have struggled as road favorites (10-12 against the spread), but they’re still posting a better cover percentage in those games than the Raptors have as home underdogs. Toronto is a lowly 5-12 against the spread in that spot this season. 

Ultimately, this game comes down to the fact that Toronto is without its three leading scorers and defensive anchor (Poeltl) in this game. 

OKC should dominate from the jump, so I’ll lay the 15 points with the Thunder. 

Pick: Thunder -15 (-110)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.