Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics odds, picks and prediction

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The Toronto Raptors (17-18) visit the surging Boston Celtics (18-17) Thursday on the second half of a back-to-back. Tip-off at TD Garden will be at 7 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Raptors-Celtics odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

The grossly undermanned Raptors suffered a 129-105 loss at the hands of the Detroit Pistons on their 2020-21 home court of Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday. The 24-point loss was Toronto’s worst of the season. The Raptors were without three of their top-five leading scorers.

The Celtics have won three straight home games to get back above .500. They beat the Los Angeles Clippers 117-112 Tuesday. All three victories were by 6 or fewer points.

Boston has beaten Toronto by scores of 126-114 and 120-106 this season. This will be the final meeting of the regular season.

Raptors at Celtics: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Money line: Raptors +260 (bet $100 to win $260) | Celtics -350 (bet $350 to win $100)
Against the spread/ATS: Raptors +8 (-110) | Celtics -8 (-110)
Over/Under: 217.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Raptors at Celtics: Key injuries

Raptors

PG Malachi Flynn (health and safety protocols) out
PG Fred VanVleet (health and safety protocols) out
SF OG Anunoby (health and safety protocols) out
PF Pascal Siakam (health and safety protocols) out

Celtics

SG Marcus Smart (calf) out

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Raptors at Celtics: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Celtics 128, Raptors 116

Money line (ML)

The Celtics are the right side, but the -350 money line price is far too chalky to warrant a wager.

The Raptors are far too shorthanded to pose a real threat, and the Celtics should have plenty of motivation to create some separation in the Eastern Conference standings heading into the All-Star break.

PASS and look to the spread.

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Against the spread (ATS)

The CELTICS -8 (-110) have topped the Raptors twice by double-digit margins this season and have everything in their favor for Thursday’s matchup. Toronto remains shorthanded, and that’ll be seen even more on the second night of a back-to-back.

SG Norman Powell led the Raps with 36 points in Wednesday’s blowout loss. PG Kyle Lowry added 21 but just three other players scored in double digits. Toronto was worse on defense with three Pistons players topping 20 points and six putting up double digits. The Raps were outrebounded by 14 and allowed the Pistons to shoot .527 from the field.

Over/Under (O/U)

Take the OVER 217.5 (-110) as Toronto’s defense was absent Wednesday, and the back-to-back will emphasize the weakness of the shortened bench. The Raptors and Pistons sailed past a projected total of 211 Wednesday.

Boston hit the Over in six of its last eight games and hung 120-plus points on the Raps twice this season.

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Also see:

Stevens: Smart is ‘getting a lot closer’ to returning (Celtics Wire)
What a USA vs. Rest of the World All-Star Game would look like (Hoops Hype)

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