Raptors set as underdogs for Game 7 clash with Celtics

Toronto Raptors' Marc Gasol (33) passes the ball away from Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball conference semifinal playoff game Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Ashley Landis/AP)

The Toronto Raptors will be looking to clinch a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in five years when they hit the hardwood on Friday night for Game 7 of their second-round series with the Boston Celtics as 2.5-point underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto escaped with a narrow 125-122 overtime win over Boston on Wednesday to knot the series at three games apiece ahead of Friday night’s decisive matchup at AdventHealth Arena.

The Raptors have been forced to play catch-up since falling to defeat in the first two games of the series, and have seen two of their three wins in the series come by the narrowest of margins. In addition to Wednesday’s victory, which Toronto needed two overtime periods to claim, the team also escaped with a slim 104-103 victory in Game 3 thanks to a buzzer-beater from OG Anunoby.

As a result, the Raptors have failed to cover on four occasions during this series. However, the team has risen to the occasion when listed as an underdog, with each of their past two wins coming while sporting positive odds. Those results extend a trend that has seen the Raptors claim outright victory in 10 of their past 13 outings as underdogs, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Raptors have also been steady performers in recent Game 7 matchups, taking home the win in each of their past three appearances, and covering the spread on two occasions during that stretch. However, the team’s resilience in this series has done little to give them a lift on the NBA futures. Toronto enters Game 7 listed as a +120 underdog on the NBA playoff series prices. And while Wednesday’s victory helped them narrow the gap, the Raptors continue to lag as a +850 wager to repeat as NBA champions.

Despite falling to defeat in three of the past four games in the series, the Celtics look to Game 7 set as -140 favourites on the series prices at online betting sites. While the Celtics hold an edge in recent dates with Toronto, posting SU wins in eight of their last 13 overall, they have produced mixed results in recent Game 7 appearances, going 6-6 in 12 contests since 1988.

In addition, Boston has seen commanding series leads slip away on multiple previous occasions. The Celtics have lost in seven games in four of the past seven series in which they held a 3-2 series lead, with their most recent collapse coming against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.

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