Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors | NBA Betting Tips and Predictions
The Toronto Raptors would love to tie up their season series with the Boston Celtics with a win at home Tuesday night. At the same time, the Celtics would love to beat Toronto for a third time this season. While Boston has struggled at times throughout the season, they tend to bring their best game against the toughest competition.
Spread: Toronto by 4
Money Line: Raptors -180; Celtics +150
*Odds via 888sport
Boston was expected to compete with Toronto for the top spot in the Eastern Conference this season—but it just hasn’t happened. As great as it was to get Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back at the start of the season, head coach Brad Stevens has struggled to find the ideal lineup. To be fair, they have played well enough to win 37 games (next to 23 losses)—so far. Should the playoffs start tomorrow, they would be the No 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. At times, this season, they have struggled to develop and maintain a consistent level of play. They are currently going through a bit of a slump with the Celtics having lost four of their last six. While the one-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t bad, the ten-point one to the Chicago Bulls was.
Toronto has been at or near the top of the Eastern Conference all season long. They have been one of the more well-rounded teams in the NBA with a top-10 defence and offence. The rank sixth in points scored with 114.1/game so far this season. Defensively they rank tenth in fewest points allowed with 108.9/game. The Raptors enter Tuesday night’s game having lost their last time out, a poor effort against the Orlando Magic. But prior to the loss, they were on a seven-game win streak. During the streak, they played exceptional and dominated some of the NBA’s best shooters. Scoring a shade under 120-points a game didn’t hurt either. Kawhi Leonard has played some of his best games against the Celtics this season. He has averaged close to a double-double in the three games between the two (31.7 points and 9.7 rebounds). After playing so well over the course of their winning streak, the Raptors gave a lackluster and listless effort against the Magic. They will certainly be eager to put that game behind them by having a big game against the Celtics.
Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors Head-to-Head
The Celtics lead the season series, 2-1. But both wins came at home while the Raptors won the one game played in Toronto. However, the Raptors have defeated the Celtics the last seven times they came to town. Boston’s last win in Toronto came back on April 4, 2015. Boston beat Toronto by nine points and seven points. Toronto won by 12 in its only victory over the Celtics this season.
Odds and Prediction
Boston is a good team and will likely be a force in the playoffs like Kyrie Irving has predicted. However, in recent days, their game has been inconsistent and unpredictable. Toronto, on the other hand, has been playing exceptional defence and very good offence. This should be an easy one for the Raptors, but the Celtics seem to play their best against tougher competition. Look for this one to be good and close, but for Toronto to pull away in the second half. Take Toronto (-180) to win over Boston (+150) and for the Raptors to cover the spread (-4). As for the over/under (226) — Toronto had been scoring right around 120 points a game during the streak. Boston has been averaging over 110 over their last seven but with two games under 100 in that stretch. It may seem like the over would be an easy call with the two averaging about 230 over their last seven. But neither has been facing strong defensive teams. It will be a close game but take the under.
Expert Betting Tip
Toronto has been virtually unbeatable at home this season. They will want to maintain that dominance and will not want to lose the season series to the Celtics. With how they have dominated the Celtics in Toronto for years they are not going to lose this one.