The Celtics and Raptors kicks off their series Sunday at 1 pm EDT.
The 2nd round match-up in the Eastern Conference is between the Celtics and the Raptors. The Celtics swept the Sixers 4-0 and the Raptors handled the Nets in the same manner. The Celtics are coming into this series without Gordon Hayward who is out with a severe ankle sprain. The Raptors have listed Kyle Lowry as questionable for Game 1.
The Celtics won the season series from the Raptors 3-1. The Celtics average 113.7 points per game while giving up 107.3. The Raptors average 112.8 points per game while surrendering 106.5. Both teams are strong defensively. Toronto’s Nick Nurse was voted the NBA Coach of the year.
I decided to compare players to see who has an edge. Jayson Tatum vs Pascal Siakam. Tatum get the slight edge. More explosive than Pascal. Kemba Walker vs Kyle Lowry. The nod goes to Walker because of Lowry’s injury. Jaylen Brown vs. OG Anunoby. Brown wins this because he handles better and will score more. Marc Gasol vs. Daniel Theis. Gasol plays limited minutes so Serge Ibaka will share time. Toronto wins that match up. Fred VanVleet vs. Marcus Smart. VanVleet is exceptional offensively. He wins over a solid but questionable scorer in Smart.
Toronto has a better bench with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Mike Powell, and Ibaka. They are superior to Boston’s bench of Enes Kanter, Brad Wanamaker and Gerald Williams. Toronto shoots 37.7 from 3-point range and 40.8 in their last three games. Boston shoots 36.3 from deep and 35.8 in their last three games.
Since Lowry's injury has his status questionable, the Celtics are the play for me in Game One. The Raptors are still the World Champions and Nick Nurse will make this a series. the Raptors can space the floor better than the Sixers and they play well in the half court. Toronto is favored for the series at -143. If you like the Celtics, the price is set at +115. I am going with Toronto to win the series. Series should go six games.
The prop bet for Game One has Jayson Tatum over 26.5 points. He has scored over 28 points in 5 of his last 6 games. Take him over.
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