Boston Celtics (53-24 SU, 48-27-2 ATS) vs. Toronto Raptors (55-22 SU, 40-37 ATS)
Time: Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 8:05 PM EDT
Where: Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON
TV: ESPN / TSN2
by Keith, Professional NBA Handicapper, Predictem
Odds Boston +260, Toronto - 323
Point Spread: Toronto -7.5
Total Line: 208.5
The Toronto Raptors will curate the hosting duties as they welcome the Boston Celtics in a pivotal Eastern Conference clash at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The tip-off is at for 8:05 PM ET and is set to be aired on both ESPN and TSN. This contest is one that is of international attention albeit it features the top two teams in the East whom are currently bidding for the top seed. Two games separate the two outfits with five games remaining in the regular season. Overall, both clubs have already secured their respective playoff bids. Against each other, the Raptors and the Celtics have been quite evenly matched. The last eight contests between both sides resulted in with four wins per team. The two teams convened just days ago in Boston, where the Raptors were handled the Celtics by a score of 110-99.
Both teams come into this contest off losses. For Toronto, the Raps have now dropped their fifth loss in their last eight games when they fell at Cleveland last night. Boston saw a six-game winning streak come to an end when they were upset by Milwaukee last night by a score of 106-102.
There are several key betting trends worth focusing on in this contest. First off, the Raptors are an obvious fright in Toronto. The Raptors are 31-7 SU in the Great White North. Boston has fared well on the road despite this, as they are 27-11 SU away from home. In the last six contests, the home team has gone 6-0 SU.
The Celtics have two key ingredients which make them a dangerous team to play, anytime or anyplace. Against the Raptors, the Celtics own advantages in rebounding and defense. The combination of their physical prowess along with their ability to limit Torontos catalytic attack can keep them in this game for longer than the Raptors can hope to bargain for.
The obvious rationale for backing Toronto here is the high level they play at home. Very simply, the Raptors are a different team in the Great White North, and they are a true force to be reckoned with. The combination of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan can be lethal and unstoppable if they are afforded the opportunity to get going.
From the onset, we have seen a lean take shape on the Celtics. This lean is reflected in the Raptors opening as an eight-point favorite before the line fell to 7.5 where it currently stands. In Over/Under markets, we saw a two-point increase to reflect action coming in on the Over in this contest.
Since home court advantage is a key component of this conference series, you can expect the initial offering for this market to reflect the public tendency to side with the hosts. If the said team is Toronto, well that likelihood is enhanced. When you back Toronto in the Great White North you can expect to pay a premium to do so. This is irrespective of the fact that Toronto has been coasting through the backstretch of their schedule or that Boston has been hitting its stride at the right time. This is very simply a game of consequence for the Celtics. If the Celts were to drop this contest, it would pretty much all but seal their fate of not earning home court throughout the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Given the importance of this prize to this team, expect Boston to toss the kitchen sink at Toronto. Moreover, we are getting an excellent basketball team at a true quality number. Exceptional value in Boston.
KEITHs PICK: Boston +7.5