Both the Boston Celtics (45-23) and the Toronto Raptors (49-18) are almost 100% healthy heading into their upper-crust Eastern Conference battle at the Orlando Bubble tonight. The only injury of note is Raptors’ bench player Patrick McCaw, who is out with a hurt knee. McCaw only averages 4.6 PPG on the season, but more than doubles that scoring vs the Celtics.
The third-seeded Celtics have been inconsistent since the NBA restart, to say the least. Loss, win, loss, and most recently a shellacking of the Brooklyn Nets by 34 points. Which Boston team will we see on the court against Toronto? If the current trend holds, the next result in the sequence will be a double-digit loss for the Celtics. My first instinct is to bet on the 2-point favorite Raptors to cover the spread. Let’s explore this option further.
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The Raptors are pretty much locked-in at the second spot and are playing as if the loss of superstar Kawhi Leonard to the L.A. Clippers didn’t even matter. Toronto hasn’t lost a single game since basketball resumed in Orlando, and they’re surfing on the crest of a 7-game winning streak that’s seen them defeat the likes of the Utah Jazz, L.A. Lakers, and Miami Heat.
Stats & Betting Trends To Watch
The Celtics and the Raptors each boast a top-notch defense, with Boston ranking 6th and Toronto ranking 1st in points allowed, respectively. The Celtics (4) have a higher offensive rating than the Raptors (14), but have proven to be erratic. Let’s examine their previous matchups this season.
Boston leads the season series 2-1. They beat Toronto at home in the TD Garden on October 25th by a score of 112-106. Two months later, on Christmas Day, the Celtics took it to the Raptors in Scotiabank Arena, winning 118-102. Toronto struck back on December 28th, stealing a victory from Boston in front of the hometown fans by a score of 113-97. So, what’s the most important information to take away from these stats?
The most important information to be found above is that the average total score for all three of the previous matchups is 216. That leads a potential bettor to the conclusion that under 218 ½ total points is a proven reality when these two teams go head-to-head this season.
BetUS Free NBA Picks
1) Raptors -2
2) Under 220 ½ Total Points
I’m the type of guy that would put $25 on each of those two bets and then submit a bet for a smaller amount on both outcomes together in a parlay. $10 on an informed parlay bet like this one pays out a total of $36.45.