Wednesday NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Raptors vs. Celtics Preview for Game 6 (Sept. 9)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors.
- The Celtics are a short favorite over the Raptors on Wednesday night with the total at 210.
- Joe Dellera likes Boston to close out this series and limit Toronto's offense, so he's taking the C's at -3 and leaning toward under 103.5 on the Raptors' team total.
- Get his full breakdown of Celtics vs. Raptors Game 6 below.
Raptors vs. Celtics Game 6 Betting Odds
|Raptors Odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Celtics Odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+125/-150 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||210 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. ET|
The Boston Celtics dominated the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 and are in position to close out this series in six games. Is time almost up for the reigning NBA champions?
The Raptors showed a bit of life in Games 3 and 4, but that was quickly stifled by the Celtics in Game 5.
Pascal Siakam has been largely absent this entire series and the time he scored more than 20 points was Game 4. This is a microcosm of this entire series for the Raptors; players they have leaned on all season cannot gather enough offense against the Celtics’ defense.
I’ve written about how the Raptors are due for some positive regression with their poor shooting, but the defensive adjustments Celtics head coach Brad Stevens made has truly limited the Raptors’ offensive ability. The Raptors’ actual vs. expected effective Field Goal percentage is 47.7% and 54.6%, respectively. The Raptors are not finishing at the rim and they’ve struggled from 3-point range.
Considering the Raptors no longer have walking bucket Kawhi Leonard on their team, they have no true weapon to lean on to put up a few points and stop a run.
I’ve been skeptical of the Celtics’ ability to push forward in these playoffs without Gordon Hayward and expected them to have some level of regression in terms of efficiency and 3-point shooting. However, they’ve persevered, led by their stifling defense and offensive contributions across the board.
Over the past five games, the Celtics have a 106.8 Offensive Rating and they’ve held the Raptors to a 99.4, good for a Net Rating of +7.4, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Even the Celtics’ 16.8% Turnover percentage (second-worst among playoff teams) hasn’t slowed them down and they are securing 51.9% of the rebounds in this series and keeping the Raptors’ offense at a standstill.
These teams are playing at a Pace of 97.70, which is significantly slower than their regular season Pace numbers of 99.92 (Celtics) and 101.19 (Raptors). The Celtics have effectively forced the Raptors to operate in the halfcourt where they only score 94.5 points per 100 possessions — worst mark among the remaining playoff teams, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Betting Analysis & Pick
One stylistic move I liked from Stevens in Game 5 was playing his starters deep into the fourth quarter to ensure the victory. They are not easing off the gas and they continue to attack the Raptors. The Celtics do not want to play a Game 7, and I expect them to keep attacking the Raptors.
One thing the Celtics did in particular that stifled the Raptors’ offense was Stevens putting Marcus Smart on Kyle Lowry. Lowry cannot get anything going offensively and if Siakam continues to struggle there’s no way to create offense.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has made adjustments throughout this series, but unless Siakam or Lowry get going, I’m not so sure there’s any other adjustments he can make to facilitate a Game 7.
At the time of this writing, the Celtics are receiving 70% of spread bets that account for a whopping 90% of the money. If that holds through game time, it would fit this highly profitable Bet Labs Pro System:
I wanted to give the Raps a chance, but the Celtics have been too good. Because the Raptors have been struggling offensively, I also have a lean on the under and on Raptors under 103.5, but I’ll stick with the Celtics spread.
The Pick: Celtics -3 (play up to -4)