Monday evening brings a very intriguing Atlantic Division matchup between the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics (19-5) and Toronto Raptors (12-11), who sit in eighth place. The tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET at Scotiabank Arena. The C's are coming off a dominant victory over Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets Sunday in the front end of a back-to-back, moving them to 8-2 in their last 10 outings. The Raps also won on Saturday as well, taking down the lowly Orlando Magic. Keep reading for the Celtics vs Raptors prediction.
Celtics vs Raptors Odds
|Boston Celtics||-1 (-110)||-115||Ov 227 (-110)|
|Toronto Raptors||+1 (-110)||-105||Un 227 (-110)|
The C's are a very slim 1-point favorite here with moneyline odds of -115. The Raptors come back at -105. This is the first meeting of the campaign between the two but they had some battles in 2021-22, winning two games apiece. Toronto thrives at home, going 9-2. Boston isn't too shabby on the road either, posting an 8-3 record.
Boston Looking Like a Title Contender
The Celtics dealt with the heartbreak of losing in the NBA Finals earlier this year and that's clearly fueled them in 2022-23. Even after all the Ime Udoka drama in the summer, Boston is absolutely flourishing under first-year head coach Joe Mazzulla. The defense has taken a bit of a step back but the offense is dominating on a nightly basis, sitting first in PPG and offensive rating. Jayson Tatum is playing at an MVP level, averaging 30.8 points, eight rebounds, and 4.4 assists per night while shooting 35% from distance. Jaylen Brown is also collecting 26.6 points, 6.9 boards, and 3.5 dimes. This is easily the best star duo in the league right now.
They showed just that on Sunday evening at the Barclays Center, handing the Nets their 12th loss. By no surprise, the two combined for a mind-boggling 63 points. Brown led the way with 34, while Tatum showed out for 29. There wasn't a lot of help from the rest of the rotation but it didn't really matter given their brilliance. Boston shot an impressive 40% from three-point land and truly cooked Brooklyn in transition, scoring 26 fast-break points. That's now six wins in seven for the C's heading into Toronto. The confidence is high as ever. Marcus Smart remains out with a hip issue though, while Robert Williams isn't quite ready to return.
Raps Getting Close to Full Strength
Like many other teams, the Raptors have dealt with some unfortunate health problems. Pascal Siakam was out for quite some time. Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes also dealt with injuries as well. But, it appears they're finally getting close to full strength again. Otto Porter and Precious Achiuwa are the only ones out for Monday. Perhaps Toronto can finally start to find a rhythm because it's been difficult to do so, evident by the numbers. Siakam is averaging 24.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 7.1 assists, which is phenomenal. But, Barnes and VanVleet have seen their numbers take a bit of a dip due to health.
Others managed to step up and get it done against Orlando, though. OG Anunoby erupted for a season-high 32 points, while Siakam also had 26. Barnes was efficient with 17 points and 14 boards, too. Nick Nurse's group destroyed the Magic in the paint, outscoring them 70-46. They also showed more desire around the cup with 17 second-chance points to only five for Orlando. The Raptors will certainly be tested on Monday against the Celtics and everyone must bring their best. Playing at home should help.
Celtics vs Raptors Prediction
The spread is too slim to even consider here. Personally, I think Boston will roll into Toronto and get it done. The Raptors are still finding themselves and the Celtics are going to give them a wake-up call. Tatum and Brown are in for another massive night.
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