Celtics Settle For Underdog Status Against Kawhi Leonard And The Raptors
The Boston Celtics will be looking to take off on a clear-sighted Opening Night victory over the Philadelphia 76ers when they hit the road to face the Toronto Raptors as 2.5-point underdogs coined by several Bitcoin sportsbooks.
Boston continued its recent control over the Sixers with a 105-87 win as 5-point home chalk in the league’s season opener and are now en route a 13-game stretch that includes nine road games, starting with Friday night’s matchup against the refreshed Toronto Raptors, which includes ex-Spur Kawhi Leonard at Scotiabank Arena.
The Celtics were among the dominant road teams in the NBA last season, following the Houston Rockets and the 2017/18 champions Golden State Warriors with a 28-13 straight-up record away from TD Garden. On the other hand, Boston’s pace slowed down on the road in the previous season, dropping Straight UP (SU) decisions in its last three regular-season road dates, followed by a 1-7 SU run in the playoffs.
Further, the Celtics had to put in the extra work in recent visits to the north, where the have dropped six straight to the Raptors, but SU and against the spread, and 10 of 11 SU since 2013, according to a popular NBA Database.
The Raptors’ campaign started off well with a 116-104 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. They were also 12-point favorites in the matchup.
Several major changes hit Toronto during the offseason following another disappointing early exit in the playoffs. After getting swept by the Cavaliers in the second round of the postseason for the second consecutive time, the team sacked bench boss Dwane Casey of his duties and subsequently claimed the spotlight after acquiring small forward Kawhi Leonard from the Spurs in a deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.
While an argument has raged as to whether the inclusion of two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year can uplift a Raptors squad that led the Eastern Conference with a franchise record 59-wins in the previous season, expectations are strengthened, where Toronto claims a +1400 wager on the NBA championship odds, way behind the Celtics, who sit behind the Warriors as a +500 bet. Do you think that the Celtics can overcome the Raptors as underdogs?
Following the Friday night win, the Celtics head to New York for a match against the Knicks before hosting their first home game of the season against the Orlando Magic on Monday.
Boston are favorites to win their second match of the NBA 2018/19 season against the Knicks, who are coming off a disappointing 29-53 record last season. The Celtics are 12-3 SU in their past games with New York, including a 6-2 SU mark in eight appearances in Madison Square Garden, taking in five of those outings.