Before this NBA season began, you would have had a hard time finding any basketball fan who believed that anyone other than the Cleveland Cavaliers would win the Eastern Conference. Sure, there are times, especially on the road, when they play down to the competition, but they always seem to do enough to maintain a 2 or 3 game lead at the top. It certainly doesn’t help that the chasing pack seem unable to maintain the pace set by the Cavs. It was the Toronto Raptors who were number 2 for a good portion of the first half, but they tailed off after getting within a couple of games. The Boston Celtics are now the team in the second spot, but they too have not been able to really pose a serious threat. It will be the Celtics and Raptors who hook up in Toronto on Friday night, with both teams looking to get into that second place spot so that they might have the ability to go a little deeper in the postseason with home court advantage on their side. Find the latest NBA betting odds here.
A Closer Look At The Boston Celtics At Toronto Raptors NBA Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Friday, February 24 at 8 PM EST
Where: Rogers Center, Toronto
Live Stream: Watch ESPN NBA Odds: TBA
Why bet on the Boston Celtics
The Celtics are coming into this one off the back of a disappointing 1-point loss on the road to the Bulls in their last game. The losses have been few and far between for Boston recently, as they are an impressive 8-2 in their last 10 games. Their high level of consistency in recent weeks has vaulted them into the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it needs to be said that most of their wins have been coming at the expense of the bottom dwellers in the NBA. The Celtics have a 26-8 record versus teams that are sub-.500, but are only 11-12 versus teams with a winning record.
Why bet on the Toronto Raptors
Toronto looked as though they were going to be a serious challenger for the Eastern Conference in the early part of the season, but they hit a skid that sent them spiraling down the standings. They are slowly starting to claw their way back, though, and a win here would put them within 3 games of the Celtics in that coveted #2 spot. Like the Celtics, Toronto has a losing record against teams with a winning record, but they have been good at home, going 19-10 on the season. They have also had luck against Boston, winning 5 of their last 7 meetings against them, including 2 of 3 this season. They have also won 4 of their last 5 home encounters versus the Celtics.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These teams are very similar in a lot of ways, which is why I think we are going to get a close one here that could go either way. As good as the Celtics have been recently, I think the Raptors will win it in their own building.