The Boston Celtics put up a game of the year candidate on opening night and now their season opener at home has the Toronto Raptors in town. Find out the best NBA odds and NBA picks for this game below.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Friday, October 22, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at TD Garden
Celtics Can’t Survive Double OT
Leave it to two of the most storied franchises in NBA history to put up a game of the year candidate before all 30 teams can even play one game. While Boston didn’t get the win, there were some telling things happening in their game against the Knicks that we can use to predict what will happen on Friday.
Despite that total flying over and both teams knocking down tough shot after tough shot, the Celtics didn’t play bad defense. The Knicks just got hot and stayed that way and if it weren’t for the heroic efforts of Jaylen Brown, Boston would have lost that game in regulation by 20 or more points.
While I fully expect Boston to be a bit tired after that huge game, I doubt they did much of anything on Thursday in order to rest up for the home opener. Speaking of, the crowd in Boston is going to be hot for this one. Even with a lower-tier opponent coming in, with the way they lost Wednesday, combined with it being opening night, I expect Boston’s crowd to get the Celtics through any tired legs they may have left in New York.
One added bonus of Friday though is the Raptors are a far cry from the Knicks, especially now that Boston will have the home court on their side. Boston is more than a two-possession favorite in this spot compared to two nights ago. The Raptors showed why they are heading nowhere but the lottery on Wednesday after they couldn’t score on the Wizards.
Now imagine what it will be like for an offensively-starved Raptors team coming in. Outside of Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, the Raptors don’t have a ton of options on offense. Scottie Barnes had a nice debut for Toronto on Wednesday, but on the road against the experienced Celtics, that’s tough to ask a rookie to help lead the scoring again.
The Sharp Pick
I think back to Wednesday night when the total for the Celtics and Knicks was around 218 points. The fact that the one for this game is a point higher is a little questionable. We didn’t get word on Jaylen Brown’s status until late Wednesday, whereas we know his status is good to go Friday after he almost dropped 50 points Wednesday.
While the Knicks are a lot better defensively than the Raptors, they are also miles better offensively. If the Celtics aren’t tired and can be willed through the fourth quarter by the crowd, I expect them to lock down this Raptors team. Marcus Smart will be glued to VanVleet and I expect Anunoby will see a heavy dose of Jayson Tatum.
Toronto looked bad on the road in Washington and I have a hard time convincing myself it will change much against a likely playoff team, with a better defense and playing in their home opener.
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