Raptors vs 76ers: How to watch, betting preview & predictions

Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez fouls Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Toronto Raptors are in town to take on the 76ers. It’s very much a new era for a Philadelphia team without James Harden. No more drama, no more noise, and a chance for Nick Nurse to start laying the foundations properly. Can they beat the Raptors on Thursday?

Raptors vs 76ers info

Who: Toronto Raptors (2-3) at Philadelphia 76ers (2-1)

When: 7:00 pm

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV

Raptors vs 76ers betting info

Spread: Raptors +8.5 | 76ers -8.5
Moneyline: Raptors +395 | 76ers -275
Total: Over/Under 215.5

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For the 76ers:

Philadelphia is playing its third home game this season and after an opening night loss to the Bucks (118-117), they were able to beat the Raptors (114-107) and then the Trailblazers (126-98). The Sixers have really stepped up and played pretty well considering they’ve been without James Harden.

A new tandem

Joel Embiid is already averaging 31 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7 assists to start the season, to go along with 3 blocks per game, and he’s been getting some great service from Tyrese Maxey.

Through three games, Maxey is averaging 30.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. Even more impressive is that he’s only averaging one turnover per game.

He’s also been shooting lights out, currently at 56% on his three-point attempts. The combination of Embiid and Maxey seems like it’s going to be a deadly one throughout the season.

Maxey 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey stands on the court after hitting a 3-point shot against the Boston Celtics during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

A team effort

In addition to their two stars, the Sixers have been getting help from Tobias Harris (19.7 points per game) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (19.0 points per game). Both have been playing well to start the season, with Oubre’s play being a particular bright spot.

With the loss of PJ Tucker, the Sixers may use a smaller lineup with Harris at the power forward spot, as well as potentially trialing Paul Reed in that position. They’ll need to make some maneuvers until the newly acquired players are ready.

For the Raptors:

The Raptors are coming to Philadelphia after a huge 130-111 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. This is the second time the Raptors are playing the Sixers in this young season and the second time they’re playing on the back end of two-game sets.

Through the first five games of the season for the Raptors, small forward Scottie Barnes has been averaging 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds. and 5.4 assists. While his minutes are in line with the first two years of his career, he’s taken a huge leap in scoring by drastically improving his field goal percentage (52.9%) and three-point percentage (41.9%) which would both be career bests.

Toronto Raptors’ Chris Boucher shoots against Philadelphia 76ers’ Danny Green during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

In addition to Barnes, the Raptors boast a few more players like Pascal Siakam, Dennis Schroder, and O.G. Anunoby that are all averaging more than 14 points a game. Having to guard those four while still contending with Gary Trent Jr. and Jakob Poeltl can be formidable for any opponent. The Raptors may be tired from a huge game last night but that doesn’t mean this will be an easy game for the Sixers.

What to watch for:

While the Raptors are trying to get their early season record up to the .500 level, the Sixers are looking to extend their short, two-game win streak. The 76ers will be able to throw quite a few looks at the Raptors and with the way the team has been scoring, it’s shouldn’t be a huge defensive affair.

Player to watch: Jaden Springer

One thing that everyone should be looking forward to seeing is some extended minutes for Jaden Springer. The young guard has impressed over the past two seasons in the G-League, improving each year, as well as having a very good pre-season.

Sixers 76ers
Boston Celtics’ Payton Pritchard, left, drives against Philadelphia 76ers’ Jaden Springer during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Springer deserves minutes and based on the way he’s performed to start the season, he’ll be someone that could give the Sixers a huge boost on both ends of the court.

Trade fallout

The Sixers don’t really have to cover anyone lost in the trade aside from PJ Tucker. Losing his 20 minutes and 1.5 points per game would be tough for any team but the Sixers seem to have the pieces on the roster in order to make up for Tuckers loss. (I really couldn’t help myself with the sarcasm.)

As for the aforementioned acquired players, KJ Martin Jr., Robert Covington, Nik Batum, and Marcus Morris should all be ready for Saturday but weren’t ruled 100% out of tonights game. If they’re ready, coach Nick Nurse could use them and have them dress but they don’t need to rush them on to the court. The Sixers should be just fine how they are.

Prediction: Sixers 123 – Raptors 108

AP Photo/Morry Gash