Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors betting preview
Betting trend to know
The Under is 7-2 in Celtics' last nine games as underdogs. Get the latest NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Raptors.
Against the spread pick
Toronto has the motivation to lock up the Atlantic Division and clinch the No. 2 seed in the East with a win, but it’s not going to be easy. While the Raptors’ defensive efforts have been impressive the past three games, they’ve played some atrophied offenses in those outings versus the L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.
The Lakers’ attack is a bust inside the bubble, Miami isn’t doing much and was missing Jimmy Butler, and Orlando was playing the second stop of back-to-back contests when it flopped versus Toronto on Wednesday.
Boston presents a much tougher task for the Raps’ fearsome defense. The Celtics are averaging 123.8 points per game in the restart – fourth-most in the NBA – and have a surplus of scoring options. There are six players averaging double figures during the seeding schedule and plenty of points coming off the bench for the Celtics.
PREDICTION: Boston +3 (-110)
Much has been made of Toronto’s defense the past week, but Boston’s ability to slow down the Raptors' transition offense is the key to this game. The Celtics are among the best transition defenses in the NBA and it shows in their recent success against Toronto.
Boston has won four of the past six matchups with its Atlantic Division rivals, checking the Raptors to an average of 109 points per game in those matchups. And while those head-to-head contests have pumped out a 4-2 Over/Under mark, we expect a tighter playoff-like feel to Friday that will keep the final score down.
PREDICTION: Under 218.5 (-110)
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Player prop pick
Kemba Walker gave his wonky knee a rest in the Celtics’ win over the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday but is expected to see a bigger workload in this vital conference game against the Raptors.
According to Boston head coach Brad Stevens, Walker’s playing minutes will, “incrementally increase again Friday". So far, the team has been limiting his efforts but getting great return from Walker when he is on the court.
He’s averaging 15 points in only 22.6 minutes per game in the seeding schedule, firing at a 58 percent clip from the floor. In three games against Toronto this season, Walker is scoring 24.7 points per contest on 44.3 percent shooting, including a 30-point explosion when these teams last played on December 28.
PREDICTION: Kemba Walker Over 13.5 points (-120)
Celtics vs. Raptors betting card
- Boston +3 (-110)
- Under 218.5 (-110)
- Kemba Walker Over 13.5 points (-120)