Celtics vs Raptors Picks and Predictions: Boston's Depth Too Much For Toronto

Boston is coming off a decisive win against the Timberwolves last night but will be missing four of its starters in Toronto. However, we expect the C's depth to help them cover the NBA betting spread in our picks and predictions for Celtics vs. Raptors.

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2022 4:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Marcus Smart Boston Celtics NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors have finally climbed into the key sixth position in the Eastern Conference standings but up next is arguably their toughest test to date, as they host the Boston Celtics. 

There is no team playing better basketball at the moment than the Celtics. They have won 22 of their last 25 games to overtake the top spot in the East. But with Jayson Tatum out, it’s the Raps who are slight home chalk for this matchup.

Can the C's overcome their injury woes? Find out in our free NBA betting picks and predictions for Celtics vs. Raptors on March 28.

Celtics vs Raptors odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Raptors opened this Atlantic Division showdown actually as 2-point home pups but then it sounded like Jayson Tatum wasn't going to suit up with a knee injury and suddenly the Raps were 4-point home faves. Then Boston threw up the white flag as Jaylen Brown was ruled out as well, making the Raps now 8-point home chalk.

The total has also seen some big movement. With the potential Tatum wouldn't play the total dropped from 219.5 to 213.5. And now with no Brown, it sits at 209 as of Monday afternoon.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Celtics vs Raptors predictions

Predictions made on 3/27/2022 at 3:51 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Celtics vs Raptors game info

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Date: Monday, March 28, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Raptors betting preview

Key injuries

Celtics: Jayson Tatum SF (Out), Jaylen Brown SG (Out), Al Horford PF (Out), Robert Williams C (Out).
Raptors: Fred VanVleet PG (Questionable), Gary Trent Jr. SG (Questionable), Khem Birch C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 9-1 in the Celtics' last 10 games versus a team with a winning SU record and is 8-1 in the Raptors' last nine in the same situation. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Raptors.

Celtics vs Raptors picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Raptors have finally climbed into the key sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. It’s key because finishing in sixth place allows them to avoid the play-in tournament, and now, they’ll get a big game against the Celtics.

Boston has been the best team in basketball over the last two months, going 22-3 over their last 25 games. And it’s not just that the C’s are winning games, they are laying a beatdown in the process, winning by nearly 16 points per game over that span. As a result, they were a profitable 16-9 against the spread over that span.

But it looks like they might throw up the white flag even before this game tips off. With the early shift in the line, sportsbooks were prepared for Jayson Tatum to sit this one out. Then Boston announced earlier that Robert Williams will miss the next several weeks with a knee injury.

Next, Tatum being out was confirmed, and then in a bit of a surprising move, it turns out he’ll be joined on the sidelines by Jaylen Brown. Add in now Al Horford as well and Boston will be without four of its biggest contributors. 

Now that the Raptors are big home favorites, can they take advantage of the situation? 

The Raps are coming off a big win over the Indiana Pacers as double-digit home chalk and have now won eight of their last 10 games straight up and ATS. On top of that, they are getting healthy with Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby off the injury report.

But prior to that last game against the Pacers, Toronto was just 2-7 ATS in its last nine games when favored by seven points or more. And the Celtics, despite being down several key pieces are still a well-coached and disciplined squad that plays excellent team defense.

The Raptors should win this and I wouldn’t be surprised if they cover, but they do have a tendency to play with their food when laying points like this. Lean towards the underdogs here.

Prediction: Celtics +8 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

While the side might be a tough one to figure out in this Atlantic Division matchup, the total might be the way to go here. We have obviously missed the best number for the Under but there is still reason to believe this can be a defensive battle.

Over this 25-game run, the Celtics have become the NBA’s best defensive team, ranking first in defensive rating, scoring defense, opponent effective field goal and 3-point shooting percentage, and giving up just 103.9 points per game.

And while the Raptors are getting healthy and playing well at the moment, they still rank 18th in scoring offense at 109.1 points per game and 27th in effective field goal percentage. Now, obviously, the Celtics will be missing some of their best defenders but this team does have some depth.

Those players will be missed even more on offense and despite Boston's big run, it still averages a middle-of-the-pack 110.7 ppg, and will be fighting to get to that average tonight because the Raptors aren’t too shabby on defense as well. Toronto ranks 10th in defensive rating this season and is among the league leaders in steals.

On top of that, the C's and Raps rank 24th and 27th respectively in pace. So, you can still bet this will still be a grind-it-out sort of game.

Prediction: Under 209.5 (-110)

Best bet

One place the Raptors will have a big advantage in this game will be on the boards because Tatum, Brown, Williams, and Horford are the Celtics' Top-4 rebounders. That should create an opportunity for rookie phenom Scottie Barnes to clean up the glass tonight.

While Barnes has recorded just six rebounds in each of his last four games, he is averaging 8.8 rebounds in 13 contests since coming out of the All-Star break and has hauled down eight or more boards eight times over those 13 games. 

Barnes is also averaging 9.0 rebounds in three games against the Celtics this season and should have a big night on the boards against a depleted Boston team.

Pick: Scottie Barnes Over 7.5 rebounds (-130)

NBA parlays

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