The Celtics begin their first-ever playoff series with the Toronto Raptors on Thursday in the second round of the NBA playoffs. While the No. 3 seed C's swept Philly out of the first round, the No. 2 seed Raptors also dispatched the Brooklyn Nets in four games and technically have "home court advantage" in the Orlando bubble.
As such, oddsmakers are giving Toronto the edge to beat Boston and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Here are DraftKings Sportsbook's odds for the series and for Thursday's Game 1:
The sportsbooks clearly believe this will be a close series, and with good reason.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Raptors Game 1, which begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream Celtics Pregame Live and Celtics Postgame Live on the MyTeams App.
The Celtics routed Toronto by 22 points earlier in the seeding round and won three of the teams' four matchups this season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are enjoying career seasons, while Kemba Walker doesn't appear hampered by his knee injury.
But the Raptors are a well-coached team that's only lost five games since mid-January and boasts one of the deepest rosters in the league, with talented role players like Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka complementing All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.
The X-factor in this series might be injuries, though. Celtics star Gordon Hayward will miss the entire series due to a sprained ankle, while Lowry also suffered an ankle sprain Sunday against the Nets.
If Lowry misses any time, the door will be open for a Boston upset. If he plays, the C's will have to play their best basketball of the season to take down the defending champions without Hayward.
Tip-off for Game 1 is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
NBA odds: Celtics underdogs vs. Raptors in second-round playoff series originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston