The Toronto Raptors are struggling to start the season and it won't get any easier as they start a four-game Western Conference road trip in Phoenix on Wednesday.
The Suns have carried over their hot play from the Orlando bubble, starting the year 5-2.
Raptors at Suns Predictions
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): The Raptors haven't looked right to start the season and it's starting to get alarming if you're a Raptor fan. The Suns, on the other hand, have looked great, humming along in the first couple of weeks of the new campaign. The way the Raptors have been losing and what's being said afterwards doesn't give me much confidence in picking Toronto to upset the Suns on the road.
Outside of their one victory over the Knicks, opposing wings have torched the Raps. Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, Tobias Harris and DeMar DeRozan have all had big scoring nights against Toronto. Devin Booker has scored at least 20 points in six of the Suns' seven games. I expect a big night from a well-rested Booker.
I'm picking Phoenix to go to 6-2.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm with Carlan - I have a hard time seeing the Raptors winning this game, so I'm going with the Suns.
It's as much about how much the Raptors are struggling right now as it is about how good the Suns have been. Phoenix enters Wednesday's matchup with Toronto with the fourth-best net rating in the league on the strength of 12th-ranked offensive and third-ranked defence. Mikal Bridges is establishing himself as an early favourite for MIP, Deandre Ayton is starting to find his groove, Devin Booker is doing his thing and the bench has been on fire, led by Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson.
Chris Paul has barely broken a sweat, too. He's having the worst season of his career statistically, and yet it feels like he's easing his way into his new surroundings. It's only a matter of time until he's doing Chris Paul things again.
Basically, this Suns team is legit. It would be a big win for the Raptors if they could pull it off, but the way they've played so far doesn't give me much confidence.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): As much as I want to go against the grain here and take the Raptors, they haven't done anything to prove to me that they deserve that. Therefore, I'm also taking the Suns.
Toronto looks lost defensively, which is the biggest shock of its slow start to the season because that's typically not an area the Raptors ever have to worry about. We've already seen flashes of the offensive woes last season with the team's struggles to score in the half-court, but if they aren't defending well either, that doesn't bode well against a Phoenix squad that is loaded offensively.
I do think Toronto will pick up a surprise win on this four-game West Coast road trip, whether it comes against the Golden State Warriors or Portland Trail Blazers (and yes, I still expect them to beat the Sacramento Kings), but I don't think that it comes against the Suns. If it does, it could be the turning point they need to get things back on track and build great momentum going into the rest of the road stand.
Raptors at Suns: Betting odds, spread, over/under
Spread: Suns -3.0 (-110), Raptors +3.0 (-110)
Suns Moneyline: -150
Raptors Moneyline: +130
Over/Under: 218.5 (-110)
*Odds courtesy of William Hill Sports Book