Two of the Eastern Conference's best teams will square off at TD Garden on Friday when the Boston Celtics (8-6) host the Toronto Raptors (12-3) as opening 2.5-point home favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
This will be the second meeting between the teams this season, with Toronto winning the first 113-101 on October 19.
The Raptors closed as three-point home favorites in that game and covered the game easily behind 31 points and 10 rebounds from Kawhi Leonard. They have beaten the number in three of the past four meetings with the Celtics and 10 of the last 13 dating back to 2015 , according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
Boston had actually jumped out to a 25-18 lead after the first quarter in the first meeting and led 53-49 at halftime before getting outscored 64-48 following the intermission.
The Celtics did a much better job of finishing off their opponent in their most recent game on Wednesday, outscoring the Chicago Bulls 60-47 in the last two quarters en route to a 111-82 victory. Chicago led Boston 24-19 after the first but was outscored 32-11 in the second, failing to cover as a 13-point road underdog. The Celtics ended a five-game skid against the spread.
Meanwhile, Toronto has dropped two games in a row both straight up and ATS following an incredible 12-1 start, falling to the New Orleans Pelicans 126-110 on Monday and the Detroit Pistons 106-104 on Wednesday. Both of those losses took place at Scotiabank Arena, where the Raptors have gone 7-2 SU but just 4-5 ATS. On the road, they are 5-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS.
Due to some early struggles, Boston has fallen to the third choice on the NBA championship odds at +950 (wager $100 to win $950), behind only Toronto (+850) and the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors (-150). The Celtics are also the +270 second choice to win the Atlantic Division behind the Raptors, who are -145 favorites (wager $145 to win $100).
Boston and Toronto are listed as +200 co-favorites to win the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers (+325) and Milwaukee Bucks (+600).