Wednesdays have long been a great night for basketball. It’s midweek, and there is no Monday Night Football or Thursday Night Football to take the attention away from the NBA.
This Wednesday is no exception. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors will go head to head and then, late night, the Golden State Warriors will host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The NBA Odds are not out at the time of writing this, but we can bet that both home teams will come in as favorites in this scenario.
The Toronto Raptors vs. The Boston Celtics
I find it funny that the Toronto Raptors keep on winning, yet they continue to fall in the power ratings.
The Raptors have more wins than any other team in the league, have won eight of their last 10 and are on a five-game winning streak, yet they are now ranked No. 4 by TeamRankings and as low as No. 8 by some of the betting analysis sites.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are ranked No.3 by TeamRankings and as high as No. 2 by the same mainstream betting analysis sites.
At least guys like Ed Feng from the PowerRank.com seem to be getting it right. He has the Raptors at No. 2 and the Celtics, who have just 25 wins, at No 5.
But, I digress, so we need to get to the matchup. Kyrie Irving is questionable with a strained quad and Marcus Smart is out with an illness, so the Celtics could be quite shorthanded in the PG position against a tough Raptors squad.
When we look at average numbers, the Celtics are dropping 113.85 through the ring at TD Garden against the Raptors’ 112.52 road points per game.
Where we see some separation in this particular matchup is the home vs. away defenses. The Raptors are 11th in the league on the road at 109.48 points per game. But, the Celtics are 4th at just 103.00. The overall point differential would show the Celtics as 7-point favorites on Wednesday night.
So far, these two teams have split wins. Each has taken a game while at home. The Raptors pounded the Celtics by 12 back in October and in November the Celtics won in TD Garden by, wait for it, exactly seven points.
Over the last 10 games, the Raptors hold a 6-4 advantage in victories and are 7-3 against the spread. The average score over these 10 meetings is 105.50 to 100.40 in favor of Toronto and over the last three games, the Raptors hold a 108.33 to 100.67 advantage.
We need to watch the injury updates and pay attention to Kyrie’s status. If it looks like he isn’t going to play, take the Raptors to win, if they are listed as small favorites or take the Raptors to cover the point spread, if Toronto opens up as an underdog later on Tuesday nights.
If Kyrie looks like a starter and he is projected to be near 100%, I would just back off this game, unless the Celtics are favored by seven points or more.
Bonus Prediction: Draymond Green is likely to be out. So, we can take a little bit off of the offensive production.
I expect that Golden State wins this, since they have owned the series with the Pelicans. But, take the underdog New Orleans Pelicans, if the point spread is eight or more.