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Toronto Raptors

FiveThirtyEight gives Toronto Raptors fourth-highest odds in Eastern Conference to reach the NBA Finals

Pascal Siakam
(NBA Getty Images)

FiveThirtyEight has released its first version of their "Way-Too-Early" 2019-20 NBA season predictions.

The prediction model - for the first time - is based off of two "forecast systems" to analyze the players on each team and give a percentage result to make the playoffs, the Finals and win the Finals, as well as a projected record.

In years past, FiveThirtyEight used what they call a CARMELO forecast system, which "uses comparable players from NBA history to predict a player's future career arc." This year, they've incorporated the DRAYMOND forecast system, which is a "new defensive metric that better accounts for a player's shot defense, in addition to the existing metrics that look at a player's impact on team defense while on the court."

The pairing should give their prediction model the highest level of accuracy yet, now accounting for defence as well as a player's potential career arc.

With all that being said, their model gives the Toronto Raptors the fourth-best odds in the Eastern Conference to reach the NBA Finals.

The defending champs lost Kawhi Leonard to the LA Clippers in free agency, but their remaining roster still appears to be solid enough to churn out good results on the prediction model.

MORE: How did the Raptors do in free agency?

The Raptors have a projected record of 45-37, trailing only the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. Toronto is given an 89% chance to make the playoffs, a 4% chance of reaching the Finals and a 1% chance of winning the Finals.

The best odds to win the title belongs to the 76ers at 27%, followed by the Houston Rockets (24%) and Los Angeles Lakers (13%).

Below you can find the projected playoff teams, sorted by conference, according to the model.

FiveThirtyEight Predicted 2019-20 Eastern Conference Standings
Team Projected Record Chance of Making Playoffs Chance of Making Finals Chance of Winning Finals
76ers 59-23 >99% 55% 27%
Bucks 54-28 >99% 26% 10%
Celtics 46-36 91% 6% 2%
Raptors 45-37 89% 4% 1%
Heat 44-38 86% 4% <1%
Magic 42-40 76% 1% <1%
Pacers 39-43 64% 1% <1%
Nets 38-44 58% <1% <1%

FiveThirtyEight Predicted 2019-20 Western Conference Standings
Team Projected Record Chance of Making Playoffs Chance of Making Finals Chance of Winning Finals
Rockets 58-24 99% 36% 24%
Nuggets 51-31 89% 7% 3%
Lakers 51-31 87% 21% 13%
Warriors 50-32 84% 16% 10%
Jazz 49-33 83% 4% 2%
Clippers 48-34 78% 10% 5%
Mavericks 44-38 55% 1% <1%
Pelicans* 43-39 50% 2% <1%
Timberwolves* 43-39 38% <1% <1%

* Pelicans and Timberwolves projected to finish with the same record.

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