The Boston Celtics are now up 2-0 in their second-round series against the Toronto Raptors, who have to do everything they can to avoid falling down the dreaded 0-3 hole, which no team in the NBA has ever overcome in the Eastern Conference semis. The betting line opened at -2.5 in favor of the Raptors but that dropped overnight to just a -1 point spread for Toronto, with bettors expecting a closer game or outright win for the Celtics. Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics NBA Playoffs Round 2 Game 3 on September 1, 2020
Where: Walt Disney World, Orlando
When: Thursday, September 3, 2020, 6:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Toronto Raptors (-1)
Regular Season Record: 53-19
The Raptors are suddenly struggling on offense. After a smooth running in their first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, the Raptors are now shooting just 38.5 percent from the field in the second round. In their Game 2 102-99 loss to Boston, the Raptors shot just 40 percent from the floor and 27.5 percent from behind the arc. Toronto’s leader, Kyle Lowry, is among the many Raptors finding it hard to put the ball in the basket. Lowry scored 16 points in Game 2 but hit just 5 of 16 shots from the field. Fred VanVleet continues to misfire as well, as he went 8 for 22 from the field and 3 for 12 from the 3-point area to finish with 19 points. There’s a sense of urgency in Toronto, but its players are simply folding in the face of Boston’s defense. Perhaps after two games of shooting bad, the Raptors are going to find their shooting touch. The Raptors shot 45.8 percent from the field in the regular season.
The Raptors are also 7-2-1 against the spread in their last 10 games as the road team.
Betting on the Boston Celtics (+1)
Regular Season Record: 48-24
Jayson Tatum just keeps on getting better. After scoring 21 points in Game 1, Tatum went 8 for 17 from the field and finished with 34 points in Game 2. Through six games in the playoffs, Tatum is averaging 27.2 pints on 48.7 percent shooting from the field. Tatum aside, the Celtics got tremendous and timely production from Marcus Smart in Game 2, as the defensive specialist hit six 3-pointers to help erase a once 12-point lead by Toronto and finish with 19 points. There’s a great balance of excellence on both ends of the court for the Celtics, who are being led by Tatum on offense and featuring a defense that’s allowing just 96.5 points per game to Toronto in the series. The Raptors are also shooting just 38.5 percent from the field in the last two games. Jaylen Brown, Tatum, and Smart are making life hard for Toronto’s perimeter gunners, and it shows in the Raptors’ poor outside shooting percentages.
The Celtics, who are averaging 110.5 points in the playoffs, are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games.
The Celtics win, 114-111.
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