Game: Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Celtics +4, Raptors -4
With six straight wins, the Boston Celtics begin the new week sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. At 47-28, the Celtics own the same record as Miami but claim the top spot on tiebreakers. Toronto comes into tonight the winners of eight of their last ten games and is sixth in the East. That keeps the Raptors out of the play-in tournament. Toronto is one game ahead of Cleveland and the Raptors would like to keep it that way.
Boston has been absolutely dominating as of late. Their defense is the NBA’s best giving up 103.8 points per game. During their current six-game streak, that defense is just a bit better at 103.5 per game. Boston has beaten those six opponents by an average of 21.7 points. That includes a 134-112 win over Minnesota just last night. Both Jayson Tatum (34) and Jaylen Brown (31) scored over 30 points. With last night’s win, the Celtics are now 24-4 since January 21 and they have not lost consecutive games during that span.
The issue tonight for Boston will be playing with no rest. Tatum is actually listed as questionable for tonight and he could be rested tonight. Al Horford and Robert Williams III are out tonight. The Celtics have done a good job of managing with no rest this season. They have the fourth-best record in the league in back-to-backs. Boston is 8-5 in 13 games with no rest this season.
Toronto has been playing well lately too. In their current 8-2 run, they have been playing solid defense like Boston. The Raptors are giving up 105.8 points per game over their last ten. For the season, the Raptors are ninth in scoring defense allowing 107.1 points per game. Toronto is coming off a win over Indiana on Saturday. Fred VanVleet left that game and is listed as questionable for tonight.
In addition to playing on back-to-back nights, the Celtics are on the road where they are 21-15-1 ATS this season. Toronto is 15-13 ATS as a home favorite, and they are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games against Boston at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Boston has won the last two games in the series holding Toronto under 100 points in each win.
Boston sees some pretty low totals with its elite defense. That’s one reason why the Over has hit in each of the Celtics’ last five games. The Under has cashed 10 times in the Raptors’ last 14 games. Neither offense scores all that much. Toronto averages 109.1 per game; Boston scores 110.7. Over the last five games, Tatum is averaging 31.6 points and Brown is scoring 28.4 per game. In the last 13 games between the Raptors and Celtics, the Under is 9-4. What’s really interesting is Boston’s O/U record in their 13 games with no rest. In those games, the total has gone Over in 10 of the 13 games.