The Boston Celtics have come up short in each of their past three games, both straight up and against the spread, and will be desperate for a win Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Boston has cooled off considerably since going on a 16-4 run that lifted the C’s into third place in the Eastern Conference standings, losing three straight SU and four of its past five games going into Friday night’s Celtics vs. Raptors betting matchup at Air Canada Centre.

The Oklahoma City Thunder pounded the Celtics on Wednesday night, 130-109, as Boston failed as 5-point home underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by in its fourth SU loss in five outings, while failing to cover for the fifth time in its last six.

The club remains securely in possession of a playoff spot, but now finds itself looking up at the surging Atlanta Hawks, who have seized third place during their four-game winning streak, and are deadlocked with the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets in fourth place in the East, a full 7 1/2 games back of second-place Toronto.

The Raptors continued their recent winning ways with a 101-94 win in Indiana on Thursday night, covering as 1 1/2-point underdogs, improving their overall SU record to 46-21, and inching them ever closer to their third straight Atlantic Division crown.

Toronto is 5-1 SU over its past six games, and an impressive 15-2 SU in its past 17 home dates, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, and have dominated the Celtics in recent games at the Air Canada Centre, winning five of six SU, including a 115-109 win over Boston as 3 1/2-point chalk on January 20.

The Celtics hope to have an easier time when they travel to Philadelphia on Sunday in search of their eighth straight SU win over the 76ers. With a 9-59 SU record going into its Friday night clash at home against the Thunder, Philadelphia looks destined to finish at the bottom of the NBA standings this season.

The Sixers are a dismal 2-20 SU over their past 22 games, but are 2-1 ATS in their past three at home, and 4-5 ATS in their past nine overall.

Boston returns home Monday to face the Orlando Magic, whose recent 4-6 SU run has put a dent in their playoff aspirations, followed by a visit from the rival Raptors on Tuesday, and a five-game Western road trip that will likely decide their Eastern Conference playoff seeding.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images