Around the top of the Eastern Conference, just a step below the Cleveland Cavaliers, there sits the Toronto Raptors, who, along with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, rank among the most attractive and promising Eastern Conference plays, both on invidiual games and futures fronts. General manager Masai Ujiri has done a fantastic job positioning the Raptors for sustainable success, making them a welcomed investment for any gamblers who don't want to swap their betting loyalties too often. [+]

Toronto has locked up youngsters Terrence Ross, Cory Joseph and Jonas Valanciunas on reasonable long term deals, Kyle Lowry will be on one of the NBA's best contracts through 2016-17, DeMarre Carroll's pact will look like a steal once the salary cap explodes, and rookie Norman Powell looks like he may one day be a big time player.

DeMar DeRozan's and Bismack Biyombo's impending free agencies will threaten to change up the Raptors' nucleus, but they should have the salary cap clout to retain them or find adequate replacements. Lowry is more important to what this team does anyway, so his entry into the open market will be of bigger concern in 2017.

For at least one more season, then, the Raptors should be among the East's top teams. The problem for them, and pretty much every fringe contender in the conference, is figuring out how to get on the same level on Cleveland.

Toronto Raptors Betting Lines Today

All the information you need for the Toronto Raptors' daily betting lines is right there: tip off times, moneylines, spreads, overs and unders—the whole shebang. [+]

Although the NBA's game lines don't change much after publishing during the regular seaosn, you'll still want to be rechecking this page up until you actually place your bet. Player injuries and rest days can impact the odds, even if slightly, and you don't want to gear up for a bet with outdated information.

Lines tend to change more frequently in the playoffs, when they are sometimes published days in advance. So it's super important to be in the habit on reviewing the odds more than once in order to prepare for that added layer of sportsbook trubulence later on.

Friday, Feb 21 19:30 EST
NBA
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Toronto Raptors

Come here for a look at the Toronto Raptors' entire schedule, complete with scores from games that have already been completed. [+]

Take this as an opportunity to plan your betting process ahead. Look at the Raptors' upcoming games. See how they match up with opponents. Study the rosters. The play styles. The records. Game lines will seldom be available too far in advance during the regular reason, but any prep work you do, even without official odds, makes your life easier when you actually go to bet.

Past scores and outcomes, meanwhile,  are valuable as a way of figuring out and spotting certain trends and patterns. 

Have the Raptors been winning a lot of games by double digits? What is their record against opponents below .500? How about above .500?

Are they taking care of business at home? Do they struggle on the road? How have they fared againt strong defensive teams? And what about stingy defensive cadres? Does their record against the Western Conference hold up to their peformance against the Eastern Conference?

Answers to all of these questions, and more, can be found by keep track of the Raptors' schedule progress. Invest time in studying their past performances, and you will have a chance of predicting how their future outings end.

Results / FixturesToronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors Standings Right Now

Use this look at the Raptors' standings to monitor their progress for futures bets. It tells you how close they are to contending for the Eastern Conference and NBA title.  [+]

Records won't tell the whole story, especially for individual games. But pitting the Raptors' record against those of known Eastern Conference contenders, like the Cleveland Cavaliers, and established overall title contenders, such as the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, gives you insight into whether they should be even be considered viable futures options.

StandingsToronto Raptors

How To Win At Toronto Raptors Betting

Those looking to justify Eastern Conference championship and NBA title investments in the Toronto Raptors will need to wait.

Even during the 2015-16 season, as they played their way to Eastern Conference Finals contention, they were still clearly inferior to those inside the actual championship dome. They have much to prove before they warrant Cleveland Cavaliers- and San Antonio Spurs-level attention. Shoot, they have a long way to go just so they can receive Los Angeles Clippers-level attention.

But there is still plenty to like about this team and its outlook.

The Raptors remain 50 win fixtures, solid game plays and, as of now, continue to have a stronghold on the Atlantic Division. Even with the Boston Celtics rising fast, you can feel comfortable throwing substantial sums of cash on Toronto to remain atop that five team pyramid through 2016-17.

To reach that next level, though, the Raptors have to dominate the offseason. 

If they are going to re-sign DeMar DeRozan (and Bismack Biyombo), they need to find a way of signing a higher profile stretch 4, because Patrick Patterson just won't cut it much longer. And if they let DeRozan walk, or should he decide to leave by his own hand, they then need to snare another high impact wing, plus that spacey power forward.

And that wing in the aforementioned scenario should do a lot of what DeRozan doesn't: shoot threes and consistently lock down on defense. Think along the lines of Kent Bazemore or Allen Crabbe.

Should the Raptors keep DeRozan, you'll also want to make sure they don't do so with the intention of trading him later, in addition to deciding whether they managed to improve the makeup of the roster enough. General manager Masai Ujiri isn't one for losing assets in exchange for nothing, so if the Raptors don't have another player they prefer to DeRozan and he's willing to return, expect an agreement to be hammered out. And if this happens, the Raptors' entire betting outlook could change midseason, just because DeRozan instantly becomes some of the hottest trade bait.

This means you might need to hold off on all major futures until after the trade deadline in February. Or maybe not. It's not yet clear, hence the point of waiting. But you'll know what to do, and how long you need to wait, once you see what the Raptors are able to do with this roster over the summer.