The Boston Celtics will be looking to build on a decisive Opening Night victory over the Philadelphia 76ers when they travel north of the border Friday to battle the Toronto Raptors as 2.5-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston continued its recent domination of the Sixers with a 105-87 victory as 5-point home chalk in Tuesday’s season opener and now embarks on a 13-game stretch that features nine road contests, starting with Friday night’s Celtics vs. Raptors betting matchup at Scotiabank Arena.
The Celtics were among the top road teams in the NBA last season, trailing only the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors with a 28-13 straight-up record away from TD Garden. However, Boston stumbled on the road down the stretch last season, dropping SU decisions in its final three regular-season road dates, followed by a 1-7 SU run through the playoffs.
In addition, the Celtics have struggled in recent visits to Toronto, where they have dropped six straight to the Raptors, both SU and against the spread, and 10 of 11 SU since 2013, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Raptors hit the court for the second time this season after claiming a 116-104 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers as 12-point favorites Wednesday night.
There were major changes in Toronto during the offseason following another early postseason exit by the Raptors. After getting swept by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs for a second straight season, the team relieved bench boss Dwane Casey of his duties and subsequently made headlines by acquiring disgruntled small forward Kawhi Leonard from the Spurs in a deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.
While a debate has raged as to whether the addition of the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year improves a Raptors squad that led the Eastern Conference with a franchise-record 59 wins last season, expectations are tempered at the sportsbooks, where Toronto lags as a +1400 wager on the NBA championship odds, well back of the Celtics, who sit second to the Warriors as a +500 bet.
Immediately following Friday night’s contest, the Celtics move on to New York for a Saturday night date with the Knicks before returning home to host the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Boston has enjoyed regular success against the Knicks, who are coming off a dismal 29-53 campaign in 2017-2018. The Celtics are 12-3 SU in their past 15 meetings with New York, including a 6-2 SU mark in eight visits to Madison Square Garden, covering in five of those outings.