Winning Streak Propels Celtics into First Place
The red-hot Boston Celtics go for a seventh straight win when they take on the Atlantic Division rival Toronto Raptors on the road on Monday night. Boston is coming off a Sunday win over the Minnesota Timberwolves that pushed it into a tie atop of the Eastern Conference standings with the Miami Heat. The Raptors are sixth in the East and on a two-game win streak following a rout of the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. This one should be a tight one, so let’s take a closer look at the contest before you make your bet online.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and NBA odds for Celtics vs Raptors. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Celtics Putting it all Together Down Stretch
The Boston Celtics are looking like a true title contender, having won 13 of their last 15 contests and 24 of their last 28. The team had some troubles early on under first-year coach Ime Udoka, but those are in the past as the Celtics look like they’re peaking at the right time.
“It’s been a journey,” forward Jayson Tatum said after Sunday’s win. “We had to find our identity. Lost some teammates; got some new guys. We’ve had to battle, but it’s been fun. We had some tougher times, but we’ve benefited from it, and made us better.”
Tatum has been a big part of the surge, leading the team with 27.0 points per game. The 24-year-old is also averaging 8.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Tatum is averaging 33.6 points per game in March, though he seemed to indicate he may sit out this game to deal with some knee soreness following Sunday’s contest.
If Tatum doesn’t play, expect guard Jaylen Brown to be more aggressive looking for his offense. Brown is averaging 23.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists and is coming off 31 points against Minnesota on Sunday.
A key cog on both ends of the floor for Boston has been guard Marcus Smart, who has really been running the show well this month, averaging 8.0 assists. Smart has scored under 10 points in each of the last four contests, but he makes his impact other ways, distributing the basketball and playing hard-nosed defense that sets the tone for the team.
Raptors Starting to Feel at Home
The Toronto Raptors are just 19-16 at Scotiabank Arena this season, but the last two home games have shown the team can be very dangerous on its home floor. And the home floor was a little dangerous on Saturday night, with the Raptors’ game against the Indiana Pacers getting suspended for just over an hour in the second quarter due to a speaker fire.
A 28-point lead at the time of the suspension allowed guard Fred VanVleet to sit out the rest of the contest rather than warm up again, so the oft-injured All-Star should be good to go for this one.
VanVleet is averaging 20.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and a team-high 6.7 assists. He’s also recording 1.6 steals per game as part of a Toronto defense that is ninth in the league, allowing just 107.1 points per game.
Forward Pascal Siakam paces the Raptors in scoring (22.2 points) and rebounding (8.2) while also dishing out 5.1 assists per contest. Siakam has been even better of late, averaging 25.9 points over the last 10 games while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor and 47.9 from 3-point range this month.
Celtics vs Raptors Head-to-Head
The Boston Celtics hold a 2-1 edge in the season series, including a road win over the Toronto Raptors in November. That was the last time these two teams squared off, and a lot has changed since then, so it’s hard to put a lot into the past results of this season.
The Celtics swept the season series in 2020-21 and have won eight of the last 10 meetings overall. Still, if Tatum isn’t going to play, the Raptors are probably the more complete team, which is why the NBA lines are favoring the home team.
Celtics vs Raptors Game Information
- Game: Boston Celtics (47-28) at Toronto Raptors (42-32)
- Location: Scotiabank Arena
- Day/Time: Monday, March 28th, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Celtics vs Raptors Betting Lines
Celtics vs Raptors Prediction
While the Toronto Raptors are very good defensively, the Boston Celtics are setting the league standard for scoring defense, allowing just 103.9 points per game. That will come in handy if Boston is without top scorer Tatum. Toronto is getting healthy at just the right time and is fighting to stay out of the play-in tournament, so we like the Raptors to come out on top in this one.
When making your NBA picks, take Toronto to win and cover at home.