NBA Picks: Celtics at Raptors Point Spread
Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors Odds
After a tough west coast road trip and a pair of disheartening losses where the Raptors coughed up their prey, Toronto’s in the middle of one of their worst stretches in the past couple of years, losing five of their last seven games. The Celtics have been rolling, winning 10 of their last 12 games to creep only one game back from the Raps for the Atlantic Division lead. This streak could be misleading because Boston has been facing relatively weak squads during their run. The Raptors represent a tough test, matching up well against Boston’s strengths.
Avery Bradley didn’t travel with the team to Toronto, and will be missing from the Celtics lineup, creating a significant hole at shooting guard. Pairing well with Thomas, Bradley’s in the middle of his best year, scoring 18 PPG on career high splits of .479/.417/.762. Boston’s already short on shooting, which has forced coach Brad Stevens to draw up creative ways of making space for all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas. Power forward Patrick Patterson rejoined the Raptors against the Houston Rockets, which will help mend Toronto’s defense after a rough couple of nights dealing with James Harden and Jimmy Butler at their peak.
Celtics at Raptors Prediction
Bet Toronto Raptors (-185) at BetDSI Sportsbook
Boston already has a tough time lining up against Toronto’s all-star back court, which is among the top three in the association. Without Avery Bradley, the Celtics must rely on Marcus Smart to pick up the slack. Smart’s a tough, superb defender, and among the finest floppers in the NBA. But his .373 FG% and .312 3P% will leave Boston underpowered on offense. Thomas will probably need to score close to forty for the Celtics to have a chance. Also, if Al Horford repeats his disappearing act against New Orleans, Boston will be in for a long night.
Bradley’s injury problems arrive at a time when the Celtics want to prove themselves against the finest teams in the association. Boston hasn’t been able to beat teams with better records, losing seven in a row against squads like San Antonio, Houston, Oklahoma City and Cleveland. Toronto, another team with a superior record, wants to stem the defensive bleeding they’ve experienced over the past two games and avoid a three-game losing streak. They’ll feel extra motivation to do so in front of a home crowd at the Air Canada Centre.
Offense hasn’t been a problem for the Raptors, and the undermanned Celtics will have trouble stopping the relentless attack of Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan. The last time these two teams played, sophomore reserve guard Norman Powell dropped 20 on the Celtics. If any member of the Raptors rotation supports Kyle and DeMar with 20 points of their own, there’s virtually no chance of a Boston victory. Coach Dwayne Casey will make sure the Raptors are better focused and organized on the defensive end, especially against a rising division rival. Toronto should be able to beat a 4.5 spread without too much trouble and betting under for totals makes sense considering Boston’s injury situation.
NBA Picks Tonight | January 10, 2017
Nine games take place on a busy Tuesday night in the NBA, including a pair of fascinating matchups between young teams on the rise and elite contenders. The Spurs face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks while the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Utah. Both the Jazz and the Bucks have a reasonable shot at pulling off the upset, especially if one of Cleveland’s starters sit for the evening. The lock of the day features the Warriors welcoming the Miami Heat to Oakland, where the Dubs will mercilessly slaughter Pat Riley’s championship leftovers.
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