NBA: Toronto Trades and Jakob Poetl’s Injury a Disaster for Raptors Bettors

NBA: Toronto Trades and Jakob Poetl’s Injury a Disaster for Raptors Bettors

The 2023-2024 NBA season did not start how many Raptors fans and bettors wanted. Many hoped the acquisition of RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley would turn the season around. But now the Toronto Raptors are losing games at an alarming rate, a nightmare for anyone who bet on Raptors futures before the season began.

Quick Take

  • Raptors 4-8 since trading O.G. Anunoby
  • Raptors futures after the trades
  • Can any Raptor win an award?

How the trades and Jakob Poetl’s injury affect Raptors futures

With a 4-8 record since December 30, the Raptors’ recent trades and Jakob Poetl’s injury will cost Raptors bettors a lot of money at the end of the season if the team does not start winning games now. Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors made huge trades that significantly changed their roster. The Raptors traded two of their core players in Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby. The Anunoby trade — a deal that sent Anunoby to the New York Knicks and brought RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors — was announced on December 30. The Siakam trade — sending Siakam to the Indiana Pacers for draft picks and forward Bruce Brown — was announced a few weeks later on January 17. 

If you bet on the yes side of Raptors futures before the season started or early at the start of the season with the belief this team would exceed expectations and was better than their odds suggested, December 30 is a day you probably want to forget because that was when their season started to go downhill. This seems fitting because that was the day the Raptors lost to the Detroit Pistons, ending a historic 28-game losing streak. First Anunoby was traded on December 30. Then Jakob Poetl sprained his left ankle about a week later during a game against the Golden State Warriors on January 7. Poetl has not played a game since. 10 days later Siakam was traded to the Pacers. The Raptors had a 12-19 record before December 30. They are 4-8 starting from that day. 

Expectations heading into the season

Most NBA experts did not expect much from this team, and neither did the sportsbooks. The Raptors were favoured to miss the playoffs heading into the season. They had -180 odds to miss the playoffs on BetRivers and +140 odds to make the playoffs. The Raptors are currently the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference and would be lucky to make the Play-In Tournament. They have +400 odds to make the Play-In Tournament, one spot above the Charlotte Hornets at +1400.

The over for the over/under betting market was 36.5 wins at -115, so they were favoured to win at least 37 games this season. The Raptors have 39 games remaining on their schedule and have 16 wins. They will need to win more than half of their games to cash that bet. This seems unlikely. The Raptors were 3-1 after the Anunoby trade if you exclude the game against the Pistons. Raptors fans were optimistic about the rest of the season. They are 1-6 since. Anyone who put money down on them right after the trade is definitely having second thoughts now. The Raptors odds to win the Atlantic Division have also plummeted despite already having the worst odds to win the division at the start of the season. They were +3000 underdogs. Now they are sitting at +25000.

Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley Most Improved Now the Only Raptors Award Futures That Can Realistically Win

Prior to the start of the season, a lot of Raptors had a shot at an award regardless of how slim. Siakam was tied with Los Angeles Clippers star James Harden for the 22nd best odds to win MVP at +6000. Anunoby was tied for 12th best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year with Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday and Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler. Both of them are no longer Raptors. Raptors rookie Gradey Dick had +5000 odds to win Rookie of the Year. He is completely out of contention now.

Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley are the only players still on the team who have a realistic shot at an award. Barnes is among the betting favourites to win this award. He has the third best odds at +1000. Quickley is tied for ninth best odds with four players: Anthony Edwards, Paolo Banchero, Anfernee Simons, and Franz Wagner. There is no reason to count Barnes out of this race with Siakam and Anunoby gone. Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey is in the lead, but the Raptors are Barnes’ team now.