Raptors-Celtics Betting Guide: Will Boston Continue to Dominate ATS at Home?
Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyrie Irving
Betting Odds: Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics
- Spread: Celtics -2
- Over/Under: 223
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
>> All odds as of 12:45 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
In yet another potential Eastern Conference Finals preview, the 33-12 Raptors will visit the 25-18 Celtics.
These teams both held serve at home earlier in the season, and Boston will get another shot on Wednesday night at home, where they’ve continued to crush against the spread. Will that continue?
Betting Trends to Know
The Celtics have lost three consecutive games for the third different time this season. In their previous two games after losing three straight, Boston beat the Hornets at home and the Hawks on the road … not exactly a gauntlet.
They have a bit of a different test against the Raptors. Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics are 15-8 (65.2%) ATS when playing on at least a three-game straight-up and ATS losing streak, covering by 2.1 points per game. The Celtics are 5-1 SU and ATS in this spot since 2016.
Stevens has dominated good Eastern Conference teams in his tenure with the Celtics. Boston is 20-11 (64.5%) ATS against East teams with a win rate of 70% or higher — making him the second-most profitable coach against this threshold of a conference opponent behind only Steve Kerr.
There is a bit of a hook, though: Of Stevens’ 31 games in this spot, his least profitable opponent is the Raptors, against whom he is 2-4 ATS. — Evan Abrams
The Celtics love playing at home. Over the past two seasons, Boston is 46-24-2 ATS — the NBA’s most-profitable home team over that stretch.
In the previous four seasons under Stevens, the C’s went 86-90-3 ATS in TD Garden. — John Ewing
Mears: The Celtics Are Very Dependent on Kyrie
A lot was made of the Celtics’ depth this offseason, but the truth is: They mostly go as Kyrie Irving goes.
On the season, they’ve been 12.7 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor vs. off — the 95th-percentile of players. They’ve been 11.4 points/100 better on offense, the 97th percentile.
Put simply, their offense is just much better with the ball in his hands, as evidenced by their +4.8% increase in effective field goal percentage with him playing. They take more shots at the rim and they’re better shooting at literally every spot on the floor.
In the two meetings between these teams this season, the Kyrie heuristic held true. In a loss at Toronto, he had 21 points, and the Raptors protected the rim incredibly well; the Celtics shot just 42.9% there, which is one of the worst marks of any team this season. In the Celtics’ win at home, Kyrie dropped 43 and the Celtics went a scorching 71.4% at the rim.
On the season, the Raptors have defended the rim at a top-five rate, but they do have some unusual splits with and without center Jonas Valanciunas, who remains out with an injury. He’s been trending up as a defender over his career:
- 2015-16 Defensive Real Plus-Minus: +0.64
- 2016-17 Defensive Real Plus-Minus: +0.75
- 2017-18 Defensive Real Plus-Minus: +1.12
- 2017-18 Defensive Real Plus-Minus: +2.06
I’m not trying to make an argument JV is an elite defender or anything, but if anything his size could be deterring opponents in the paint. On the season, opponents have taken 5.1% fewer shots at the rim with him playing — the 95th percentile of players.
Since I think handicapping this game really comes down to Kyrie’s shooting and overall play, it’s difficult to feel very confident about a side. I will leave you with some notable betting trends, however, which suggest that the Celtics are awesome bets at home. — Bryan Mears
- The Raptors are 19-24-2 ATS this season, including 9-12-2 on the road.
- The over is 27-18 in Raptors games, including 18-11 in conference games.
- The Celtics are 15-5 SU and 14-6 ATS at home.
- The over is 26-17 in Celtics games, including 12-8 at home.
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.