NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Friday, Sept. 11): Celtics vs. Raptors Game 7
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kemba Walker (left) guarded by Kyle Lowry.
- After a double overtime thriller in Game 6, the Celtics and Raptors face off in a winner-take-all Game 7 Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
- I has historically been profitable to bet on Game 7 unders -- Joe Dellera thinks this game will fit that narrative, too.
- Read Dellera's full betting preview for Raptors-Celtics Game 7 below.
Celtics vs. Raptors Betting Odds
|Celtics Odds||-2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Raptors Odds||+2.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-136/+114 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||203.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Friday, 9 p.m. ET|
Game 7. The two best words in sports. After a thrilling double overtime victory by the Raptors in Game 6, we turn to this winner-take-all Game 7 to determine who will take on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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It feels like I keep writing that the Celtics could have or should have won this series but the Raptors snatched a victory out of their hands. The Celtics have been better overall than the Raptors, but this series is tied up.
Boston has played incredible defense all series, and it took a gutsy performance from Kyle Lowry to force a Game 7. The Celtics are limiting the Raptors to a 48.9% eFG% this series, even with the Raptors’ offensive “explosion” in Game 6 where they held a 53% eFG%. This number is still lower than their expected eFG% in this series (54.4%), per Cleaning the Glass.
Expect the Celtics to shadow Kyle Lowry with Marcus Smart this entire game. That matchup slows down their offense and forces Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam to beat them. I’m not sure why Brad Stevens did not do this early on in Game 6, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on in Game 7.
The Raptors finally shot well from 3-point range in Game 6 to push this to a winner-take-all Game 7.
Lowry was truly awesome, leading the way with 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 53 (!!) minutes on an incredible 150 points per 100 shot attempts, per Cleaning the Glass.
Despite this, I am not prepared to trust this offense. They’ve been completely stifled by the Celtics, scoring just 101.9 points per 100 possessions in this series. Even in double overtime, the Raptors had just 112 possessions.
The key to a Raptors victory will be whether they can get any offense outside of Lowry. Aside from the Game 3 and 4 victories, VanVleet has looked lost from 3-point range. If he’s able to take a step up and become the FVV from last year’s playoffs, then the Raptors just may have a chance.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Game 6 was an under that was stolen by overtime. The total was 210 and these teams only scored 196 points in regulation. Even after the first full overtime period they only barely went over the total.
Both of these teams shot well above their series average from 3-point range in the double overtime thriller (Toronto 42.2% vs. 32.8%, and Boston 41.3% vs. 36%). I think Game 7 will be a battle in the trenches for both of these teams.
Historically, it has been profitable to bet on the under in Game 7 of a playoff series.
In fact, the last seven Game 7s have resulted in unders, per Bet Labs. Given these team’s offensive struggles, and slow pace (96.81, per NBA.com) and the line moving down to 203.5 from an open of 205 shortly after Game 6 concluded, I’m expecting a slow defensive battle. I have a lean on the Celtics to advance, but I’m taking the under.
The Pick: Under 204, down to 202.5