Saturday NBA Playoffs Betting: Odds, Picks & Predictions for Raptors vs. Celtics Game 4 (Sept. 5)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum guarded by Kyle Lowry.
- The Celtics are a short favorite over the Raptors on Saturday night after opening as an underdog.
- This series has been tight throughout, and Joe Dellera is counting on an uptick in offensive efficiency in Game 4.
- Get his full breakdown and bet for Celtics vs. Raptors below.
Raptors vs. Celtics Game 4 Betting Odds
|Raptors Odds||-1 [BET NOW]|
|Celtics Odds||+1 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-113/-105 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||213 (-112/-109) [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
The Raptors won Game 3 in dramatic fashion with a buzzer-beater 3 by OG Anunoby with just 0.5 seconds left on the game clock to close the series gap to 2-1 in favor of the Boston Celtics.
Now, we turn to a pivotal Game 4. Will the Celtics extend their lead to 3-1, or will the Raptors make this a new series as they even it up at two games a piece?
The Raptors defense has been excellent this series. They’re limiting the Celtics to 107.4 points per 100 possessions, which would have been a top-5 mark over the entire season. This is particularly notable considering the Celtics scored 113.6 points per 100 possessions during the regular season, which was fourth-best in the league.
Outside of the first quarter in Game 1, the Raptors have been able to lock down and limit the Celtics’ offense throughout this series. They’ve done a decent job of containing Jayson Tatum and forcing the Celtics’ other players to beat them.
One thing that has been consistent is Boston has not gotten out in transition much — only 11.4% of plays in Game 1 down to just 6.4% in Game 3. This has allowed the Raptors to set up their defense and switch properly to lock down the Boston offense.
On the other side, the Raptors finally attacked the Celtics in the way they know best, in transition. In the Game 3 victory, the Raptors were in transition on 21.3% of their plays, the highest percentage this series. This is something Nick Nurse surely schemed, as this number was even higher than their season average of 18.4% of plays. This is a way for the Raptors to capitalize on their length and athleticism and stay away from their weak half-court offense. Expect the Raptors to run.
The Celtics have gotten worse offensively each game, and it has shown in their eFG%. It’s dropped from a high of 59.1% in Game 1 to 52.4% in Game 3. They are not taking or making great shots, and even though they’ve been able to cut down on their turnovers, they don’t look like the well-oiled machine they were in the first quarter of Game 1 or the regular season.
The biggest difference, as I wrote about in the Game 2 preview and the Game 3 preview, was shot selection. The Celtics were shooting and (more importantly) making, exponentially more 3-point shots in Games 1 and 2 than they did on the season. In Game 3, they they took only 32% of their shots from 3-point range and they fell below to their season average of 37%, only shooting 31% from behind the arc. Considering the Raptors give up this shot the most often in the league, but defend it the best, this is the expected outcome.
The Celtics are operating almost entirely out of the half court. This is problematic, because while the Celtics have the 11th-best half-court offense, the Raptors have the best half-court defense in the league. With Boston seeing some regression from 3-point range, their offense is stalling because they were leaning on that high variance shot.
Check out our free NBA odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game. Subscribe to our new NBA Insiders tool at FantasyLabs to beat the market with our cutting edge player projections, injury news and betting thresholds.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Aside from the first quarter of Game 1, I think the Raptors have been the better team in this series, despite being down 2-1. Without the Marcus Smart barrage in the second game the series score could easily be flipped in favor of the Raptors. My lean on the game is the Raptors moneyline to even this 2-2.
Normally, I’d like to play the under here as I have not seen strong offensive performances from either of these teams. However, the total opened at a series low of 213 and has since been bet up to 214. I think this is an overcorrection.
I think these coaches will make adjustments. Namely, the Raptors will want to push the pace and operate in transition and the Celtics will go back to taking more 3-point shots. As a result, expect more offense in Game 4.
The Pick: Over 213 up to 215