In a potential Eastern Conference finals preview, the new-look Toronto Raptors host the Boston Celtics with both teams looking to build off impressive season-opening wins. Boston whipped Philadelphia 105-87 on Tuesday despite Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving looking rusty in their returns from injury. Kawhi Leonard, in his first game with Toronto, posted 24 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s 116-104 victory over Cleveland. Sportsbooks list the Raptors as three-point home favorites for the 8 p.m. ET tipoff from Scotiabank Arena. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas believes will be scored, is 208 in the latest Celtics vs. Raptors odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Raptors picks, you need to hear what NBA expert Galin “The Dragon” Dragiev has to say.
A fantasy sports expert with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering, Dragiev uses his strong analytical background whenever he makes a pick. And he has uncanny data on Boston and Philadelphia: In his past 25 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, Dragiev has been correct 18 times — including calling Boston (-5) to hammer Philly on Tuesday. In his past 13 involving Toronto, he’s 8-5, giving him a 26-12 spread mark with these teams.
Now Dragiev has analyzed Celtics-Raptors from every possible angle and locked in a strong point-spread pick. He’s sharing it over at SportsLine.
Dragiev knows Toronto — which has covered the past six home meetings — appears to be a perfect fit for the multi-talented Leonard. His presence helped Kyle Lowry go 10 of 12 from the field Wednesday. As a team, Toronto shot 49 percent while draining 14 of 33 from long range.
The Raptors posted the East’s best record last season and it doesn’t sit well with them that most observers peg Boston as the conference’s top dog for 2018-19.
But just because the Raptors boast a new superstar and a strong motivational angle doesn’t mean they’ll cover against the NBA’s deepest team.
The Celtics looked as good as advertised on opening night, getting huge performances from Jayson Tatum (23 points, nine rebounds, three assists) and Marcus Morris (16 points, 10 boards), while Hayward (10 points, four steals) and Irving (seven points, seven assists) got their feet wet. It’s striking that Boston cruised despite Irving and Hayward combining to shoot 6 of 26.
Boston is so deep, no Celtic played 30 minutes and nine played at least 19 minutes.
We can tell you Dragiev is leaning under, but his much stronger play is against the spread. He says there’s a huge x-factor that will make the difference Friday night. He’s sharing what it is, and who to back, only at SportsLine.
So which side of the Celtics-Raptors spread should you back? And what is the huge x-factor Dragiev has isolated? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the expert who’s hitting nearly 70 percent of his pointspread picks involving Boston and Toronto.