Raptors favourites to extend win streak in clash with Celtics


Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, drives past Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) during the second half of a game in Boston, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

The Toronto Raptors will be looking to extend the NBA’s longest current winning streak to eight games when they take on the Boston Celtics on Friday as three-point favourites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raptors have dominated in the NBA’s return to action, posting straight-up wins in each of their three August outings, and have also rewarded bettors with wins against the spread in four straight contests going into Friday night’s matchup in Orlando.

Toronto continued to roll with a 109-99 victory over Orlando on Wednesday, covering as 7.5-point chalk at betting sites, and can reach the 50-win mark for a fifth straight season with a victory over the Celtics.

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However, Toronto has struggled to produce steady results in recent dates with the Celtics. The team tallied a lopsided 113-97 win in Boston as seven-point underdogs in their last matchup back in December, but has recorded consecutive SU wins just once while going a middling 6-7 SU in its past 13 dates with its Atlantic Division rivals.

While the Raptors sport a 4.5-game lead over Boston, and can clinch the Atlantic Division title and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by defeating the Celtics on Friday night, they have continued to lag on the NBA futures. Since returning to action as a lengthy +2000 wager to repeat as NBA champions, the Raptors have improved dramatically to their current position at +900. However, they remain well back of the Los Angeles Lakers, who continue to lead the way as +210 favourites on the NBA championship odds.

The Celtics return to action on a high after storming to a 149-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets as nine-point favourites on Wednesday. That victory marked the third time this season that Boston has scored 140 or more points in a game. However, the Celtics have yet to find their groove since starting play in the NBA bubble. The team escaped with a narrow 124-120 victory over Portland before suffering a loss to Miami, and has now fallen to SU defeat in six of its past 10 contests.

Boston has been equally disappointing at the sportsbooks, claiming ATS wins in just two of its past 10 outings. A porous defence is to blame for the Celtics’ recent shaky record. The team has surrendered an average of over 116 points per game in its past five outings. That could spell trouble against the Raptors, who have effectively shut down opposing shooters of late, allowing an average of just 96.5 points per game over their past four outings.

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