The Toronto Raptors are set to take on the Boston Celtics in what promises to be a nail-biting showdown on Wednesday night.
The Raps are playing the second leg of a back-to-back, coming off the heels of an impressive 120-100 thrashing of the Charlotte Hornets.
Meanwhile, the Celtics, also playing the second game in two nights, are trying to bounce back from a tightly-contested 103-101 defeat at the hands of Philadelphia, despite being deprived of the services of star Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics are three-point favourites at home, and the total is set at 224 on Wednesday night at Sports Interaction.
Raptors vs. Celtics odds
|Raptors Moneyline Odds||+125|
|Celtics Moneyline Odds||-145|
|Over/Under||224 Points (over -110, under +110)|
|Spread||Celtics -3 (-110)|
|Time/Date||Wednesday, April. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: TSN, RDS (French), NBA Sports Boston|
Stream: NBA League Pass
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This will be the third time the Celtics and Raptors square off this season, with the Celtics having won both of the previous matchups thus far. In their first encounter back in December, Boston managed to secure a 116-110 victory. The second game in January was equally thrilling, with the Celtics edging out the Raptors 106-104. They’ll play the season finale of their season series on Friday again in Boston.
About the Raptors (40-39, 40-37-2 ATS, 44-35 o/u)
Despite securing at least a 10th place finish in the Eastern Conference standings, and a spot in the play-in tournament, the Raptors (40-39) are still hungry for more. Potentially snagging the No. 7 or No. 8 seed between now and the end of the regular season would be a game-changer for their post-season aspirations. The winner of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 seed play-in game moves on with just one win, while the loser will need to dig deep and win a second game to advance.
Fresh off a dominant 120-100 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday night thanks to a clutch 22-point performance by Pascal Siakam, the Raptors are fired up and ready to go. Toronto has won an impressive five of its last six games heading into this tilt and is heating up at the right time.
The Raptors will need to bring that same energy and intensity to Boston if they want to improve their playoff seeding. Currently tied with the Atlanta Hawks for eighth in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors are hot on the heels of the seventh-seeded Miami Heat. With just three regular-season games left to play, Toronto knows that every basket counts, and every win matters.
Player to watch: Pascal Siakam
Siakam has averaged 24.5 points over the Raptors’ last 10 contests and has been instrumental in Toronto securing a spot in the play-in. Look for Spicy P to continue his great play and rise to the occasion versus elite opposition, as he’s averaging 29 points against Boston this season.
Pascal Siakam: 27+ Total Points
About the Celtics (54-25, 43-36 ATS, 40-37-2 o/u)
The Boston Celtics’ hopes of securing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference took a hit last night, as they suffered a close 103-101 defeat at the hands of Philadelphia. As a result, it’s now highly probable that the Celtics (54-25) will end up as the No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs, as they now trail the Milwaukee Bucks by three games with just three games left to play, Boston does hold the tiebreaker, however, should the two teams finish with identical records.
The good news is that the Celtics still have a comfortable two-game lead over the 76ers, who currently sit in third place. Boston can solidify its position as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference with a win over Toronto tonight.
Boston was missing one of its key players as Brown was sidelined due to a back problem. This season, the Celtics have played 13 games without Brown, and their record in those games is an impressive 9-4. The Celtics were also without the services of centre Robert Williams, who was out with a knee injury. Though the absence of these players was definitely felt, Boston has the depth to be dangerous without them.
Player to watch: Jayson Tatum
Tatum drives the bus in Boston and his 28.9 points per game scoring average over the Celtics’ last 10 proves that. At home his numbers are even more impressive. With games of 39, 34 and 30 points in his last three at TD Garden, Tatum clearly possesses an extra gear in front of the Boston faithful.
Jayson Tatum: 30+ Total Points
Gary Trent Jr. remains questionable for the Raps with a lingering back injury. Meanwhile, Williams III (knee) and JBrown (back) are questionable to suit up for the Celtics.
Betting trends to watch
- Raptors are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games following a straight-up win.
- Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Raptors are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings between the teams.
Wagers to consider
- Pascal Siakam – 27+ Total Points: +132 – Siakam continues to produce at a good clip as the Raps try to improve their lot, plus his recent history vs. the Celtics predicts a big game.
- Jayson Tatum – 30+ Total Points: +160 – In the absence of Brown, Tatum is forced to take on even more responsibility. Knowing his numbers at home this year, it’s easy to think Tatum will eclipse 30 tonight.
Other NBA games tonight
|Home Team||Away Team||Time (ET)|
|Detroit Pistons||+11||-11||Brooklyn Nets||7:00 PM|
|Indiana Pacers||+4.5||-4.5||New York Knicks||7:00 PM|
|Atlanta Hawks||-10.5||+10.5||Washington Wizards||7:30 PM|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-6.5||+6.5||Chicago Bulls||7:30 PM|
|New Orleans Pelicans||-5||+5||Memphis Grizzlies||8:00 PM|
|Dallas Mavericks||-6.5||+6.5||Sacramento Kings||8:30 PM|
|LA Clippers||-3||+3||Los Angeles Lakers||10:00 PM|