The Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors wrap up a competitive best-of-seven series with a win-or-go-home matchup on Friday evening. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics will aim to bounce back from a Game 6 loss, while Kyle Lowry and the Raptors look to continue their winning ways in Game 7. The Celtics continue to operate without Gordon Hayward (ankle), with Oshae Brissett (knee) and Patrick McCaw (knee) out of action for Toronto.
This 2020 NBA Playoffs matchups tips at 9 p.m. ET from AdventHealth Arena in the Orlando bubble. Boston is a three-point favorite in the latest Celtics vs. Raptors odds from William Hill, up a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points expected is 204, down one point. Before making any Raptors vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Raptors spread: Celtics -3
- Celtics vs. Raptors over-under: 204 points
- Celtics vs. Raptors money line: Celtics -160, Raptors +140
- BOS: The Celtics are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- TOR: The Raptors are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston has been the better team by most metrics through the first six games. The Celtics are outscoring the Raptors by 6.0 points per 100 possessions and, on the defensive end, Boston is tremendous. Brad Stevens’ team leads the NBA Playoffs 2020 in defensive rating, allowing 1.027 points per possession. In this series, that number is even better at 1.01 points allowed per possession, and Boston is able to clamp down on a Toronto team that does not feature a superstar creator.
Offensively, the Celtics are led by Tatum, averaging 24.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs. Tatum isn’t alone, though, with both Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker averaging more than 20 points per game in the postseason. The Celtics were the No. 4 offense in the NBA during the regular season, landing in the top six in offensive rebounding and turnover avoidance, and Boston can take solace in its varied, balanced approach.
Why the Raptors can cover
Though both teams are experienced at the highest levels, the Raptors have gotten off the mat twice in the series, climbing back from down 0-2 and 3-2 already against the Celtics. Some of that can be attributed to high-level coaching from Nick Nurse, but the Raptors are an elite defensive team, and that can be a great equalizer. The Raptors finished second in the NBA in defensive rating during the regular season and, in the playoffs, Toronto again ranks second in allowing only 1.05 points per possession.
Toronto is also dominating the defensive glass against the Celtics, grabbing 79.1 percent of available rebounds after misses, and that is the best mark of any team in the conference semifinals. Offensively, the Raptors are having trouble generating quality looks, but they do maintain the best turnover rate (12.9 percent) and assist rate (61.2 percent) of any team in the second round. Toronto does have multiple shot creators as well, with Fred VanVleet, Lowry and Pascal Siakam each averaging 17.4 points per game or more in the postseason.
How to make Celtics vs. Raptors picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Tatum and Marc Gasol both projected to outperform their season-long scoring averages. It also says one side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Raptors vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Raptors spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.