The reigning NBA champions are one step away from going home, so Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics promises a thrilling battle.
The tip-off is set for 6:40 PM ET on Wednesday, September 9, so we have prepared all need-to-know betting tips and trends for this Atlantic Division showdown along with our best betting pick and the latest odds update.
The Celtics miss Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the rest of the series, while Vincent Poirier (personal) is unavailable, too. The Raptors are without Patrick McCaw (knee), while Serge Ibaka (ankle) is listed as questionable.
Boston is a 3-point fave on BetAmerica at the moment. The Celtics are -150 moneyline favorites on the same platform, and the Raptors are +130 dogs to win straight up. The totals are set at 210.0 points on Sugarhouse.
What’s at Stake?
The Raptors’ season is on the line, and the reigning champs will try everything they can to force Game 7.
The Celtics opened the semis with a couple of wins (112-94 and 102-99), but the Raptors responded immediately and tied the series at 2-2, beating Boston 104-103 and 100-93. However, the Celtics dismantled the Raptors 111-89 in Game 5 this past Monday.
Both Boston and Toronto swept their first-round series, so fatigue is not a factor.
Interestingly, all previous five games in this series went in the under, and on four occasions, one of the teams failed to surpass a 100-point line. The under is now 12-6-1 in the previous 19 encounters between the Celtics and Raptors, while Boston is 8-4 SU and 9-3 ATS in its last 12 meetings with Toronto.
The defense is a key factor in this matchup, and the Celtics were exquisite in Game 5. They limited the Raptors on poor 38.8% shooting from the field and 30.0% from beyond the arc. The Celtics allowed only 35 first-half points and cruised to the victory.
All the Celtics’ starters scored in double figures, and Jaylen Brown led the way with 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field. On the other side, Fred VanVleet had 18 points and five assists, but Pascal Siakam scored only 10 points and found himself in foul trouble once again.
The Raptors certainly need more from Siakam, while Marc Gasol went scoreless on Monday. The reigning champions desperately need to establish their low-post game after scoring just 32 points in the paint in Game 5.
Back in Game 4, the Raptors tallied 26 points in the paint and shot only 39.5% from the field. They managed to escape with a win only because the Celtics had a terrible shooting night, making seven of their 35 attempts from deep.
Toronto has to do a much better job on both sides of the ball, especially on the offensive end, or this will be the end of the road for the Raptors.
I’ve mentioned that all previous five contests went in the under, and I expect to see more of the same. Both teams lean on their defense, and it’s hard to expect a firecracker after what we’ve seen in this series so far.
Therefore, I’m going with the under on the totals at -110 odds. The Celtics look like a better team than the Raptors, and they should finish the job Wednesday, but I still like the totals better even though -150 moneyline odds on Boston are a fair price.