The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors were the first two teams to advance in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. They were also the first second-round matchup to be set, and because the NBA isn’t wasting time in the bubble, their series will begin this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Because of the early start, we’ve got odds up on DraftKings Sportsbook not only for the series, but for Game 1 as well. Let’s take a look at those odds and break ‘em down really fast.
Celtics vs. Raptors series line
Celtics to win (+125)
Raptors to win (-152)
Just looking at this line and the question mark that is Kyle Lowry’s ankle, there is value in going with Boston at this number. The Celtics were dominant in the first round, albeit against a banged-up, one-dimensional Philadelphia 76ers team. You’d think this would be the line if Lowry were 100% healthy and we knew he’d be fine for the start of the second round. The thing is, we aren’t. If Lowry is out to start the series that will be huge.
The flip side of this is it’s a line designed to lure you in (I actually think this is the case). Not to say its trickery or anything, but the Raptors are a very deep team. We saw Lowry go down against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4. Toronto didn’t break a sweat, didn’t panic, nothing. All the Raptors did was go out and drop 150 points. I don’t care if it’s the Nets. You don’t just go out and drop 150 points on anyone. If the Raptors start Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell in the back court to start things against Boston, are they really that worse off? Is Terence Davis playing more minutes really that bad? My answer would be no.
So take this line as it is. For now, it’s good value for the Celtics. That could move things a bit before we know more about Lowry. Once we know more about Lowry, that’s when we’ll see the real line develop. The smart move is to go with Boston at this number. I still feel like the Raptors win the series with or without Lowry for the entire time.
Celtics vs. Raptors Game 1 odds
Spread: Raptors (-2)
Moneyline: BOS (+108), TOR (-127)
Again, this is where the Celtics look good on paper. We don’t know if Lowry will play, so if we can get the Celtics at this number, I think we jump at the opportunity. Even with Lowry, we expect the series to be competitive. I think it will be competitive either way. The Celtics are capable of winning. They almost covered every spread in the first round against the Sixers. So getting points in a matchup that appears to be even — maybe even favors the Celtics — is very appealing. I’d argue even if Lowry is fine and plays in Game 1, there’s no reason the Celtics can’t win. It should be a long series, at least 6-7 games. I like Toronto overall, but the numbers on Boston early on are too good.
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