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Celtics Now -170 Favorites to Win Series vs Raptors After Game 1 Blowout Victory

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NBA Basketball

Updated Mar 8, 2021 · 1:03 PM UTC

Jaylen Brown
Can Jaylen Brown and the Celtics come together against Denver on Tuesday? (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • The Boston Celtics are now -170 favorites to take their semifinal series following a decisive 112-94 Game 1 win
  • Boston beat Toronto by 22 points in their final regular-season meeting, and Toronto 1-4 against the Celtics this season
  • See updated series odds and which team you should be betting going into Game 2 on Tuesday night below

The established pattern continued for the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series. That has to be a worrisome thought for the Toronto Raptors.

Boston whipped up on Toronto by a 112-94 final score. The Celtics have now won four of five from the defending NBA champion Raptors this season.

Three of Boston’s victories were double-digit decisions.

The oddsmakers certainly look to trends when establishing betting lines. They’ve turned this series in Boston’s favor almost as quickly as the Celtics did.

Boston is now listed as the -170 favorites to defeat the Raptors and halt Toronto’s run at a second straight title. The Raptors are now +138 underdogs.

Toronto opened as the -143 chalk to take the series. The Raps were also two-point favorites to win Game 1.

Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors Series Odds

Team Moneyline Odds at FanDuel
Boston Celtics -170
Toronto Raptors +138

Odds taken Aug. 30th

Game 2 in this best-of-seven set is slated for Tuesday at either 3:00 or 5:30 pm ET.

Celtics Keep on Firing

Both Toronto and Boston came into this series off first-round sweeps and rolling along like juggernauts. Toronto, though, was quickly derailed by Boston’s depth.

The balance in Boston’s attack was impressive. Six Celtics hit for double digits, including all five starters. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart led the way with 21 points each.

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With 18 points and 10 assists, Kemba Walker posted his first postseason double-double. Jaylen Brown scored 17 points.

When Toronto had the ball, Boston’s defense was up to the task. The Celtics limited the Raptors to 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.

Both of those numbers were well below Toronto’s season averages of 45.8 and 37.4. The Raps tallied just seven fast-break points as well.

Siakam Still Struggling

The bubble struggles of Toronto’s Pascal Siakam are ongoing. The Raptors All-Star was once again underwhelming in Game 1.

He shot 5-of-16 from the floor and finished the series opener with just 13 points. A trio of first-quarter fouls left Toronto’s go-to guy going to take to take a seat on the bench.

Siakam missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and earned a paltry four trips to the charity stripe.

With Kyle Lowry also struggling (5-of-12, 17 points) and no Kawhi Leonard to put them on his back and carry them to safety, the Raptors could be in serious jeopardy.

Raptors’ Game 1 Blues

Dropping Game 1 of the series is nothing new to the Raptors. They did so in two of their four series last year en route to the title.

Toronto was even or down after two games in all four series during the 2019 playoffs. the Raps trailed in three of four series but always prevailed in the end.

There was something that felt different about this Game 1 loss, however. It was a decisive setback. Every time Toronto tried to go on a run, Boston put a stop to it.

The Raptors own a size advantage over the Celtics. They need to take better advantage of this by driving to the hoop and forcing Boston center Daniel Theis into early foul trouble.

There’s an old saying that when someone shows you who they are, believe them. The Raptors continue to display to everyone that they appear to have no answers for what the Celtics bring to the floor.

Factor in Boston’s history of success this season against Toronto and there’s certainly cause for concern on Toronto’s side.

Pick: Boston Celtics (-170).

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