Kyle Lowry and the Raptors outlasted the Boston Celtics in a double overtime Game 6 win to force a winner-take-all Game 7 Friday night. Photo from @TheNBACentral (Twitter).
- Raptors force Game 7 with gruelling 125-122 2OT win over Boston Celtics in Game 6
- Winner of this series advances to play the Miami Heat in the East Final
- See the odds, our analysis and best bets for Game 7 below
Win or go home Friday.
That’s the situation facing both the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, who square off in Game 7 of their second round series after Toronto gutted out a 125-122 double-OT win in Game 6.
With the Miami Heat waiting in the wings, the Celtics vs Raptors odds are pretty tight.
Celtics vs Raptors vs Game 7 Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Boston Celtics||-1.5 (-112)||-120||O 208.5 (-110)|
|Toronto Raptors||+1.5 (-108)||+102||U 208.5 (-110)|
Odds taken September 9. Tip-off is 9pm ET
How should you be betting this Game 7 — the most exciting game in professional sports? Let’s explore what promises to be a must-see matchup.
Raptors Find Small-Ball Lineup
If you’re wondering why it’s so hard to oust a team with championship DNA, look no further than the Raptors’ effort in Game 6. Toronto shot 43.6% from the field, were dusted on the glass 58-46 and missed seven free throws, but still managed to grind out a win.
KYLE LOWRY. ICE COLD 🥶 pic.twitter.com/7t8LGoYWOI
— ESPN (@espn) September 10, 2020
Kyle Lowry put together a superhuman performance, logging 53 minutes and leading all scorers with 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The timeliness of his buckets can’t be discounted either — it feels as though each of his six threeballs were to quell a Celtics rally, or to keep his club within range. Of course, his turnaround jumper in double OT was the clincher.
Nick Nurse, he the mad scientist of playmaking and roster shuffling, may have finally settled on a closing group, and it’s a small and scrappy version. OG Anunoby assumed the center duties, with Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell filling out the rest of the unit.
Norman Powell with the TOUGH finish 😤 pic.twitter.com/e0gGsBNfAF
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 10, 2020
It didn’t come without near heart attack for Raptors’ fans, though. Siakam laboured through the entire fourth quarter and overtime, going 5-for-19 for 12 points (including 0-for-5 from deep) when Toronto desperately needed a bucket. But Powell emerged as a go-to guy at the end, scoring 15 points in overtime, giving Toronto the final push to finish the game.
Celtics Can’t Close
For as good as Boston has looked for many stretches of this series, their play on the margins has allowed Toronto to hang around. In Game 6, a sluggish third quarter, where they were outscored 33-25, had them battling to play catch-up, and never really securing the play, even when it was close at the end.
The Raptors became the 3rd team in playoff history to force a Game 7 with a multi-OT win along with the 1974 Bucks and the 2009 Bulls.
Both the Bucks and Bulls lost Game 7…to the Boston Celtics. pic.twitter.com/Hamgl4ZRSe
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 10, 2020
Boston’s young stars struggled down the stretch. Jaylen Brown, who had been so dominant through most of the game, finished with a team-high 31 points, but needed 30 field goal attempts to get there. Jayson Tatum’s line looked a little stronger: 9-for-21 for 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, but he had six turnovers, and save for a late push at the end of the second OT, was mostly missing when his team needed him.
Kemba Walker also struggled, finishing just 2-for-11 from the field for five points.
What’s the Best Bet?
The Raptors got crushed in Game 5 after Lowry and VanVleet logged better than 45 minutes a game the previous two contests. How Lowry responds in Game 7 likely determines if Toronto hangs around or if this gets away from them.
But Boston is coming off a disheartening loss, and the most draining game of the playoffs. Tatum, Brown and Walker all topped 51 minutes, Marcus Smart logged 49+, and Daniel Theiss played more than 47. We’re going to find out how much they have left in the tank after a day off.
“You’ve gotta embrace the challenge,” says Jaylen Brown. “This is what adversity is about. This is what basketball is about. This is what life it about.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 10, 2020
That alone is pushing me to taking the under, as this will likely turn into a slugfest with the team having the most stamina holding on.
To think: Boston was 0.5 seconds from sending the Raptors into an 0-3 abyss, and they’ll now need to play their best game of the playoffs to advance.
That probably carries more weight than the fatigue. For that reason, make sure you save a little on the side for the champs to cover.
The pick: UNDER 208.5 and Raptors +1.5 (-110)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.