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Raptors Are 4.5-Point Home Underdogs to Celtics in First Christmas Game Since 2001

Kyle Lowry on court
Can Kyle Lowry keep his heroics going against the Celtics on Christmas day? Photo by Chensiyuan (Wiki Commons).
  • The Toronto Raptors are set for their first Christmas Day game since 2001
  • They’re up against the Atlantic Division leading Boston Celtics
  • Which team has been best against the spread this season?

After being frozen out of Christmas Day games for the better part of nearly two decades, the Toronto Raptors had to have been happy to finally host a contest when the schedule came out this year – but they’re hobbled with a mess of injuries to key players which will really put their depth to the test.

They’re facing the Atlantic leading Boston Celtics who are just a half game up on both Toronto and Philadelphia. In their first meeting this season, the Celts won by six points back in October and should they emerge victorious in both back-to-back meetings against the Raps (they play in Boston Saturday) they’ll post their first winning season against them since 2012-13.

The Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors odds have set the home team as 4.5-point underdogs to kick off the NBA’s Christmas day slate.

Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Boston Celtics -175 -4.5 (-110) Over 211.5 (-115)
Toronto Raptors +155 +4.5 (-110) Under 211.5 (-105)

Odds taken December 24th.

Banged up Raptors Still Battling

The Toronto Raptors have been playing like they’re Rodney Dangerfield and fighting in the face of a lack of respect all season, given that they just won the title last year yet are largely forgotten.

Despite losing Kawhi Leonard in the offseason, the Dinos are a very respectable 21-9 and they’ve done that with a slew of injuries, including Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell missing the last three games.

Kyle Lowry has been fantastic in the absence of three big contributors on the squad, winning Eastern Conference player of the week and leading Toronto to their largest comeback (30 points) in franchise history against the Mavericks on Sunday.

Playing the disrespect card seems to be suiting the Raptors quite well this season.

They have been playing a lot of hard minutes of late, losing to Indiana on Monday in overtime after being down by 10 at halftime, their first loss in the last six contests.

Celtics Rolling in Last Month

In the last 30 days, the Celtics have been playing inspired basketball, winning nine of their twelve games, with seven of those victories by at least nine points.

Two of the losses have come against Atlantic Division foes in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. They will have the services of center Enes Kanter, who previously had not been able to play outside of the United States.

Signs are pointing towards Boston bringing back a few key reinforcements from injury to play against Toronto with Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart expected to return to action as well.

What’s the Best Bet?

Despite the injuries, the Raptors have still maintained a strong level of play, and they’re 13-3 on home court this season. The Celtics are an impressive 12-1 at home but are just 8-6 on the road. Toronto has been very evenly matched with Boston in recent years with the teams splitting their last ten overall meetings.

However, the Raps have won eight straight at home against Boston and 12 of their last 13 matchups at the Scotiabank Arena. Take the extra points on Toronto in their first Christmas Day affair in 18 years.

Pick: Toronto Raptors +4.5 (-110)

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