Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics take on Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of a best-of-seven 2020 NBA Playoffs series on Thursday evening. The Celtics hold a 2-0 series lead after a comeback win on Tuesday, putting the Raptors in a desperate situation to avoid a virtually insurmountable 3-0 deficit. Gordon Hayward (ankle) remains out for the Celtics, while Toronto’s core of rotation players will enter Thursday’s game at full strength.

Tip-off is 6:30 p.m. ET in Orlando. William Hill lists Toronto as the one-point favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points expected, is 216.5 in the latest Raptors vs. Celtics odds. Before making any Celtics vs. Raptors 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 $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 60-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,400 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 10-2 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 -1
  • Celtics vs. Raptors over-under: 216.5 points
  • Celtics vs. Raptors money line: Raptors -115, Celtics -105
  • BOS: The Celtics are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • TOR: The Raptors are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why the Celtics can cover

The Celtics have been the better team through two games, even with the Raptors entering as the higher seed. Boston is holding Toronto to a 95.5 offensive rating to this point, with the Celtics boasting the No. 2 overall defense so far in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Brad Stevens’ team has been elite on the defensive end dating back to a No. 4 overall ranking in the regular season, with the Celtics finishing in the top six in both effective field-goal percentage allowed and turnover-rate created. 

Offensively, Boston is also tremendous, with a trio of high-end shotmakers in Tatum, Walker and Jaylen Brown. The Celtics were fourth in the NBA in points per possession during the regular season, with Boston also taking care of the ball at an impressive rate, issuing a turnover on only 13.6 percent of possessions. Toronto has a potent defense but, with Tatum operating at a superstar level, the Celtics are scoring just enough to capitalize on their tremendous defensive impact and that could continue in Game 3.

Why the Raptors can cover 

The Raptors are in a desperate position, badly needing a win to stay in the series, and Toronto’s championship pedigree and experience could be vital with that circumstance in mind. Defensively, the Raptors have done a solid job in the series and, for the full season, Toronto boasts the No. 2 defense in the NBA on a per-possession basis. Nick Nurse’s team also ranked No. 2 in shooting efficiency allowed and turnover creation during the regular season, with the Celtics finishing just 18th in the NBA in shooting efficiency.

On the offensive side, the sledding has been difficult for Toronto, but there could be a path to efficiency through free-throw creation and conversion. The Raptors are a top-10 team in the NBA in free-throw rate, with the Celtics struggling as a bottom-10 team in the league in keeping opponents off the free-throw line. Toronto also has balanced scoring options with Siakam, averaging 18.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the postseason, and Fred VanVleet, averaging 19.2 points and 7.7 assists per game in the playoffs, at the forefront.

How to make Celtics vs. Raptors picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, with Lowry and Enes Kanter projected to fall short of their season-long scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits 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 $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.

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