The injury list for the Raptors is lengthy. Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Marc Gasol are al out, creating a rare scenario where the defending champs are underdogs in Toronto. In recent games, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka have carried the Raptors. They will all need to play well to beat a tough Celtics’ team.
Boston has dealt with injuries of its own, but it looks like it will be healthier in time for Christmas. Gordon Hayward is expected to play after missing the last three games. His return figures to provide a boost for the Celtics since he’s averaging 17.5-6.1-4.1 on 55.6% shooting from the field.
UPDATE: Gordon Hayward (foot) will play vs. the Raptors, per coach Brad Stevens.
Raptors vs. Celtics spread, over/under, money line
Spread: Raptors (+4)
Money line: Raptors (+150), Celtics (-182)
At a certain point, all these injuries are going to catch up to the Raptors. We know how valuable Siakam is, but Gasol has also played a huge role anchoring the defense. Toronto allows 7.5 more points per 100 possessions with Gasol off the court. With Hayward coming back for the Celtics, they come into the holiday as the much healthier team. For what it’s worth, the Boston beat Toronto earlier in the season when the Raptor’s weren’t dealing with injuries. Until the Raptors get players back from injury, it’s tough to expect them to beat elite competition.
Prediction: Celtics 113, Raptors 108
Note: Bets and DFS players will lock at those specific game times.
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