Does this look like an All Star move? Want to bet on it?

 

Last week, I pointed out that the line of 33 wins for the Raptors you’ll find on most betting sites is an opportunity to bet the “over.” This week, I’ll take a look at a list of other Raptors related props you can wager on, courtesy of Bodog.

Will Andrea Bargnani be named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Star team?
Yes 5/1
No 1/8

If he can maintain his form from his now infamous “13-game stretch” at the beginning of last season, then Bargnani will be an All Star. If he can finally take advantage of his natural talents for even four months of the season leading up to the All Star break, then Bargnani will be an All Star. But since we’re six seasons into his NBA career and we’ve still never seen him play at that kind of level for more than 13 games at a time, I don’t actually believe that Bargnani will be an All Star.

He’s not popular enough to be voted a starter at either power forward or centre, so if Bargnani is going to be playing at the marquee event in February, he’s going to have to earn a reserve spot with real All Star calibre play. The question then becomes can Bargnani outplay other Eastern Conference big men like Chris Bosh, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah and Al Horford, just to name a few? I suppose it’s possible, but I sure as hell wouldn’t bet on it.

The one thing going for those of you who are optimistic about Bargnani’s 2012-13 season is the fact that betting the “yes” offers decent value, while betting the “no” offers none.

Who will lead the Toronto Raptors in scoring in the 2012-13 regular season?
Andrea Bargnani 4/9
DeMarr DeRozan 3/1
Kyle Lowry 6/1
Jonas Valanciunas 13/2
Terrence Ross 8/1
Landry Fields 12/1

The safe bet is obviously either Bargnani or DeRozan, but I don’t think Lowry will be that far behind (I can see Lowry around 15 points per game, with Andrea and DeMar between 15-20), so for the value, I’d sprinkle a little on Kyle at 6/1. I’m not sure why Valanciunas, Ross or Fields are even in this discussion.

Who will lead the Toronto Raptors in rebounds in the 2012-13 regular season?
Jonas Valanciunas 1/1
Amir Johnson 3/1
Ed Davis 5/4
Andrea Bargnani 4/1

Well we can eliminate option No. 4 right off the bat, which leaves us with Valanciunas, Johnson and Davis. Jonas has the size advantage, and might be able to stay on the floor longer than any of us had previously imagined, but I still think it’s asking a lot for a rookie big man to lead the way in a major statistical category, and again there’s little value there.

If Ed and Amir play similar minutes, as they did last season, Davis should lead the team in rebounding for a second straight year, but if Amir earns or lucks his way into much more playing time, he might be a decent bet at 3/1.

Will the Toronto Raptors trade Jose Calderon during the 2012-13 NBA regular season?
Yes 1/3
No 2/1

The odds are equally poor here no matter where you’re leaning, so I’d suggest betting the “yes” on the simple premise that trading Calderon just seems to make too much sense. While I’ve been among Calderon’s harshest critics on the defensive end and anointed Lowry the starter before the ink was even dry on the trade with Houston, I do appreciate the value Jose can bring to a team, especially a team who might simply be a little extra offence off of the bench away from being pushed over the top.

With Calderon in the lineup, the Raptors should have one of, if not the deepest rotations of point guards in the league, and could also boast one of the better second units in the game. But with an expiring contract worth north of $10 million and the potential to add another (younger) asset for the future by dealing Jose, the Raptors have to at least be leaning more towards moving the veteran than keeping him.

Will the Toronto Raptors be above .500 at any point during the 2012-13 season?
Yes 5/6
No 5/6

Man, people really do bet on the most random things, don’t they?

The Raptors have a pretty tough start to the schedule, so while it seems as basic as simply winning their opener against a solid Pacers team (which is possible at home), they might also find themselves in an early hole, where they’re left merely trying to approach .500, not actually anywhere close to surpassing it. Their best chance at answering this question with a resounding “yes” really does seem to be getting out of the gates with a win over Indiana at the Air Canada Centre on Halloween, even if 1-0 ends up being the only time they actually sit above .500.

Will the Toronto Raptors make the playoffs in the 2012-13 season?
Yes 2/1
No 1/3

I think if everything goes as planned for every team in the NBA, then the Raptors will finish last in the Atlantic Division and ninth or 10th in the Eastern Conference with a range of 35-40 wins. As you know though, things will quickly veer off course, for the better or worse, for almost every team, so that prediction means squat.

On one hand, if things go well for the Raptors and injuries befall teams like the Knicks and 76ers, or if the Bulls can’t cope with Derrick Rose, or if the Nets’ lack of defence spells trouble, then the Raptors can suddenly find themselves above .500 and fighting for a playoff seed even higher than eighth. On the other hand, should the Raptors be the team stricken by bad luck or in-cohesiveness, they could also finish as low as 12th or 13th in the East.

So it really comes down to whether the Raptors will be one of the teams that see everything go right, or everything go wrong. Which of those scenarios do you feel is most likely?

Will the Toronto Raptors fire General Manager Bryan Colangelo during the 2012-13 regular season?
Yes 3/1
No 1/5

Colangelo reportedly only has a team option remaining for 2013-14, and while I do think the Raptors will provide enough of a glimmer of hope this season to justify an extension for BC, I also understand that a disappointing season may very well spell the end of his reign in Toronto, but I’m nearly certain it wouldn’t happen mid-season.

The only way Colangelo gets fired during the season is if things go catastrophically bad. Like we’re talking Lowry’s game goes in the shitter, Valanciunas turns into a bust over night, Bargnani gets injured and Landry Fields has the worst season ever kind of catastrophic. Even the most pessimistic of Raptors fans can’t believe things will be that bad, right?

Will the Toronto Raptors fire head coach Dwane Casey during the 2012-13 regular season?
Yes 5/1
No 1/8

LOL! Next question.

Will any Toronto Raptor finish in the Top 10 of NBA scoring (PPG) in the 2012-13 regular season?
Yes 4/1
No 1/6

Bargnani’s 19.5 points per game would have been good enough for 18th in the NBA last season had he played enough minutes to qualify, and Dirk Nowitzki rounded out the top-10 with an average of 21.6, but scoring was down league wide due to the effects of the lockout and condensed season, so last year was probably an aberration. To crack the top-10 in scoring in an average year, you usually have to be at or around 23 points per game, and even at his absolute best in that aforementioned 13-game stretch last season, Bargs averaged 23.5, so the only way he’ll likely be in the conversation is if he sustains that All Star quality play for an entire season, and again, I wouldn’t bank on it.

The only way DeRozan sneaks into the conversation is if better scorers like Bargnani and Lowry get hurt and the Raptors are forced to rely on ill advised overuse of DeMar on offence, which we all know hasn’t exactly worked to this point in his brief NBA career.

Will any Toronto Raptor finish in the Top 10 of assists per game in the 2012-13 regular season?
Yes 3/1
No 1/5

Calderon finished fourth in the league last season (and third in assists per 48 minutes) and Lowry would have finished 11th had he played enough minutes to qualify, so I’m a little surprised that the odds tend to suggest that the answer will be “no,” though I suppose the reasoning is that both will see less minutes with the other one around.

Nonetheless, I think a healthy Lowry can crack the top-10, which generally takes about 6.5-to-7 assists per game. Kyle has averaged 6.4 assists per 36 minutes in his career, and has averaged 7.0 and 7.4 per 36 minutes in the last two seasons, respectively, so if he can be relied upon for consistent starter’s minutes, then there’s reason to believe he could provide some value here at 3/1.

Will the Toronto Raptors record a win against the Miami Heat in the 2012-13 regular season?
Yes 4/7
No 1/1

Another pretty random question, but you can bet on the answer, so let’s discuss it anyway.

The Raptors are unsurprisingly winless against the Heat in the “Big Three” era, going 0-7 with an average margin of defeat of 13.4 points. Of course, the two editions of Raptors teams that played the Heat in the last two years were markedly worse than the team the Raptors will floor this season, and there have been two or three games when the Raptors actually hung with the Heat, both in Toronto and at Miami.

The obvious assumption is that the Raptors will lose all three matchups again this season to make it a not so perfect 0-for-10 against the post-Decision Heat, but I actually think the Raps have a shot to steal one of the two contests at the ACC. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t even expect the Raptors to finish within 20 games of the powerhouse Heat, but I do think they can catch Miami napping in Toronto once this season.

Maybe it will be on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Heat are surely more focused on LeBron’s Super Bowl party later that evening, or maybe it will be on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Raptors’ green jerseys bring the luck of the Irish to town. I just have a gut feeling that the sub-40 win Raptors are going to beat the 60-plus win Heat at home this year, at which point more insane fans than I will openly discuss the possibility of stealing a game or two from Miami in a 1 vs. 8 first round playoff matchup, all while the Raptors are still a few games outside of the top-eight in the East.

Sounds like fun time I’ve created in my imagination, I can’t wait.