The Toronto Raptors may be on the other side of their COVID-19 issues and it’s got Vegas sportsbooks buying back in to Toronto ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons.
The Raptors opened as -2 to -2.5-point favourites and have jumped to -3.5-point favourites against the Pistons, according to Covers.
That’s a line that could be moving throughout the day, especially if Toronto gets the go-ahead to clear some of the players who have been battling COVID-19 protocols. As of Tuesday night, the team has listed Pascal Siakam, Patrick McCaw, and Malachi Flynn as questionable to play Wednesday while Fred VanVleet is doubtful. All four players practiced with the team Tuesday night, but they will have to be fully cleared by the NBA offices before they can return to play.
“It’s not in my hands,” VanVleet said of a possible return. “We’re doing some clearance, trying to get my conditioning back to clear all the protocol so that way I’m checked off. I’m not a liability for anybody when I step out on the court. I have no expectations for [Wednesday], but I would like to play, I’ll say that much.”
Regardless of who is available, Toronto will have to work hard to ease the group back into playing time. It’s been almost three weeks since any of them played in an NBA game and the group has done very little physical exercise since entering COVID-19 protocols.
“There’s guys that have been out for a long time so it’s conditioning in general, general well-being is at the forefront and managing the minutes and making sure and asking the guys to be honest with themselves,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “If they need to come [out], they need to come out; myself trying to control it a little bit and not go too far with it even if they want to stay.”
The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. in Detroit.