Free Expert NBA Picks - Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks

Boston Celtics Bench

Saturday, October 15, 2016 8:40 PM GMT

The Celtics travel to the Big Apple to visit their Atlantic Division rivals, the New York Knicks. Let's check out this preseason matchup and notch another winner in our NBA picks.

Celtics (3-1) vs. Knicks (2-1) Prediction

The Celtics began their preseason campaign with a 92-89 defeat to the Philadelphia 76'ers. But it is preseason after all and despite the Sixers, perennially dismal regular seasons, the exhibition slate is a time for trying out new players and giving the established veterans an opportunity to work out the kinks after an offseason of inactivity.

After that setback, the Green has strung together three consecutive wins with the latest being a 100-97 road win in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Unfortunately for those who backed Boston in their NBA picks, the margin of victory was not enough to see them earn the cover as the NBA odds installed the Celtics as five-point road chalk. Offseason acquisition Al Horford and 22-year-old point guard Marcus Smart led the way with 13 points apiece. Boston had at least one point from 13 of their 14 players suited up that night which reflects the team's versatile and remarkably deep bench.

The Knicks were crushed by the Rockets in Houston in their preseason opener by the score of 130-103. However, they have rebounded with consecutive wins over Brooklyn and on Monday night eked out a 90-88 victory over the Wizards. New York is anticipating having one of their own prized offseason acquisitions in uniform when Joakim Noah takes the floor tonight. Noah, formerly of the Chicago Bulls, was beset with injuries last season and most notably a shoulder tear that required surgery. New York's other free agent prize, Derrick Rose, is in the midst of a rape trial and will not be available for any hardcourt action until the trial is over.

We all understand that betting on a side or total in the preseason can be highly speculative which is why we need to base our assumptions on not only the coach's motivations but the players as well. Sure, everyone would rather win than lose but to whom is it most important to go out and shine? Certainly not superstars or those veterans with guaranteed contracts and roster spots. Their main ambition is to avoid injury. Therefore if you look at all the raw talent that the Celtics have and all these youngsters trying to outdo one another for a roster spot then the Celtics appear to be the team to back.

Of course, you can counter that the young blood on the Knicks has the same aspirations which are true but what they lack is the sheer depth and skill of a Boston team that has had a plethora of draft picks with which to stockpile all this emerging talent. Let's watch the road team come out on top and cover the number when the oddsmakers get around to hanging a line in this one.

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Free NBA Pick: Celtics -2.5

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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