Eastern Conference contenders will clash Friday night when the Boston Celtics host the Toronto Raptors as 1.5-point chalk on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston is coming off a decisive 111-82 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls and will be gunning for a fourth straight victory on home hardwood in Friday’s Raptors-Celtics betting matchup at TD Garden.
Wednesday’s win over the Bulls as heavy 13-point favorites came at an ideal time for Boston. With the victory, the Celtics rebounded after going 1-4 straight up in last week’s five-game road trip, and also put the brakes on a five-game slide against the spread.
The Celtics’ stingy defensive performance against the Bulls also marked a departure from their recent road trip, during which they surrendered a hefty 109.8 points per game. The result has been back-to-back wins for bettors taking the UNDER on the totals after the OVER prevailed in five of the team’s previous six games.
Despite their spirited performance against Chicago, the Celtics still have plenty of work to do to close the gap on the conference-leading Raptors. With an 8-6 record on the season, Boston remains 3 1/2 games back of Toronto in the race for top spot in the East and has seen its NBA championship odds diminished during a shaky start. The Celtics have slipped to +950 on those futures after opening the campaign trailing only the defending champion Golden State Warriors at +500.
The Raptors travel to Boston for the first date on a four-game road trip looking to bring a halt to their first losing streak of the season. Toronto is coming off a 106-104 loss to former coach Dwane Casey and the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, and has now lost two straight SU after setting a franchise record with a 12-1 start.
But the Raptors’ first swoon of the season has yet to impact them on the NBA championship odds. Faced with tempered expectations following yet another early playoff exit last spring, Toronto opened its schedule as a +1400 wager on those NBA futures but has moved past the Celtics during its impressive start and now is listed as the +850 second favorite.
The Raptors have also been a force on the road, claiming victory by an average margin of 11.25 points in six straight outright victories. Toronto has posted victories in three of its last four meetings with the Celtics, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, including a 113-101 win as three-point home chalk on Oct. 19, but Toronto is winless SU in three visits to TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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