Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics Pick – NBA, September 3, 2020
The Boston Celtics secured a 102-99 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semis, and now they have a 2-0 lead. The Toronto Raptors must answer in this one or this series will be pretty much over for the reigning NBA champions. The Game 3 tip-off is set at 6:30 PM ET.
These Atlantic Division foes have faced six this season, and the Celtics are leading the series 5-1. Here is my Raptors vs. Celtics betting prediction for Game 3.
Raptors vs. Celtics Odds
The Toronto Raptors were slight favorites in the opening two games of the series, and the sportsbooks again give them a slight favorite tag for Thursday’s tilt. The spread on the Raptors is -1, while the total is set at 215, which is for a couple of points below the Game 2 total. Both games in the series went Under, so if you prefer betting on Over, I suggest you avoid this clash.
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Nick Nurse and the Raptors set defense much better in Game 2 as they learned a thing or two from Game 1 defeat, but that wasn’t enough to avoid another loss. Toronto was pretty much in control after the first three quarters, but then they allowed 32 points in the final 12 minutes. The Raptors made only 11 triples on 40 attempts, and even though they were better in assists (25-18) and committed 12 turnovers opposite Boston’s 17, that didn’t help them.
OG Anunoby led the Raptors with 20 points and seven rebounds. Fred VanVleet added 19 points, game-high seven assists, and five boards, while Serge Ibaka had 17 points, game-high nine rebounds, and two blocks. Pascal Siakam posted 17 points, eight boards, six dishes, and three thefts, while Kyle Lowry chipped in with 16 points, seven dimes, five rebounds, and game-high four steals.
Boston trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter, but they never panicked and waited for their chance to come, even though a double-digit lead/deficit in this type of game is not easy to overcome/drop. Still, the Celtics showed their quality once again and played excellent defense in the final quarter, keeping the Raptors to 23.8% from the floor to secure another victory.
Jayson Tatum led his team with 34 points, eight rebounds, and team-high six assists. Marcus Smart contributed with 19 points and two blocks, Kemba Walker had 17 points, six boards, and four dishes, while Jaylen Brown finished the game with 16 points, eight rebounds, team-high three steals, and a couple of rejections.
Prediction and Pick
I don’t think the Raptors can return into this series if they lose Game 3, not because they don’t have the quality to do it, but because the Celtics are too good to allow that to happen. Toronto was agonizingly close in Game 2 as VanVleet missed a contested three-point shot to tie the game. I am going with Toronto once again as I do believe they have the strength to bounce back from 2-0 down and get back to business.
Toronto Raptors to win-111