Though the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs isn’t over just yet, the second round begins on Sunday afternoon. The No. 2 seed Toronto Raptors face the No. 3 seed Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, after both teams advanced with ease in the opening round. Kyle Lowry (ankle) is probable to play for Toronto, with Oshae Brissett (knee) and Patrick McCaw (knee) ruled out. Gordon Hayward (ankle), Javonte Green (knee) and Tremont Waters (knee) are out for Boston.

Tip-off is at 1 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists Toronto as the 2.5-point favorite, up a half-point from the opening line, while the over-under, or total number of points expected, is 216 in the latest Celtics vs. Raptors odds. Before making any Raptors vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 59-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. It’s also 7-2 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Raptors. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Raptors vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Raptors spread: Raptors -2.5
  • Celtics vs. Raptors over-under: 216 points
  • Celtics vs. Raptors money line: Raptors -130, Celtics +110
  • BOS: The Celtics are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • TOR: The Raptors are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Celtics can cover

The Celtics are a balanced, talented team that functions at a high level on both ends of the floor. Before Boston’s dominant win over Philadelphia in the first round, the Celtics ranked in the top four of the NBA in both offensive and defensive rating in the regular season. Offensively, the Celtics rank No. 6 in turnover rate, giving the ball away on only 13.6 percent of possessions, and Boston also ranked No. 5 in offensive rebounding, grabbing 27.1 percent of available missed shots. 

Brad Stevens’ team is also known for its ability to stretch defenses with multiple threats in off-dribble shooting, headlined by Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. Defensively, Boston is also stout, including a top-five mark in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage allowed this season. The Celtics are also effective in forcing turnovers, ranking No. 6 in the NBA at 15.4 percent in the regular season, and that is a relative weakness of the Raptors, with a 14.5 percent turnover rate.

Why the Raptors can cover 

The Raptors are led by a genuinely elite defense, with Nick Nurse as the architect and a great deal of talent. Toronto finished the regular season at No. 2 in the NBA in points allowed per possession, and that figure was buoyed by top-two marks in effective field goal percentage allowed and turnover creation. From a playoff standpoint, the Raptors dominated the Nets in the first round with elite defense and, dating back to their 2019 championship run, Toronto has proven to be versatile and dominant on that end of the floor. 

Offensively, the Raptors lead the NBA Playoffs with a 2.54 assist-to-turnover ratio, and Toronto ranked in the top 10 of the NBA in free-throw rate during the regular season. Given that Boston was No. 22 in free-throw rate allowed, the Raptors should be able to get to the free-throw line and use that to help their overall offensive efficiency. Pascal Siakam, who averaged 20.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game against Brooklyn, leads the way for Toronto’s offense, with sizable contributions from supporting pieces, including 21.3 points and 7.8 assists per game from Fred VanVleet in the first round.

How to make Celtics vs. Raptors picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with only four players projected to hit the 20-point mark in the simulations. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Celtics vs. Raptors? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Raptors vs. Celtics spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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