#Betting101: Getting on the Celtics Fade Train

Jason Lake

Thursday, December 21, 2017 2:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 2:27 PM UTC

The Boston Celtics have been playing above their heads this year – and the NBA odds are starting to catch up to them. Can we fade the C’s this weekend? Yes we can.

Things looked bleak for the Boston Celtics when Gordon Hayward broke his leg on Opening Night. Ai ya. But as you’ve probably noticed, the Celtics are in first place in the Eastern Conference; they’re 26-7 SU and 21-10-2 ATS as we go to press – the most profitable NBA pick in the entire league. Kyrie Irving (plus-5.6 BPM) and Al Horford (plus-5.8 BPM) are playing like All-Stars, and rookie Jayson Tatum (plus-3.0 BPM) is thriving in Hayward’s absence.

But will it last? Boston may have one of the best records in the league, but their performance level isn’t at the same level as the top teams in the West – the Houston Rockets and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. For that matter, the Celtics aren’t even the best-performing team in the East. And we’re already seeing the impact on the NBA odds board, where Boston is 5-3 SU and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games. Are you ready to get your fade on?

C’s and Desist

Again, we’re not saying the Celtics are awful or anything. But their 23-10 Pythagorean record is three wins worse than their actual record; the Toronto Raptors (22-6 PYTH) have been playing at a higher level thus far. Even if you use a simple metric like point differential, the Raptors (plus-8.5) are ahead of Boston (plus-5.3) thus far.

We’ve talked plenty about Toronto’s betting value in this space, of course. Fading the C’s should also be a worthwhile strategy at this point. Their team defense has been slipping of late; Irving (minus-1.1 DBPM) in particular has backed off in this department after putting in good work earlier this season. And the offensive limitations of players like Marcus Smart (minus-2.5 OBPM), Aron Baynes (minus-2.9 OBPM) and Semi Ojeleye (minus-2.8 OBPM) are becoming more obvious as a result.

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Can't be overstated: The Portis/Mirotic situation was strange for entire organization -- but both men deserve a large amount of credit for handling the aftermath and putting it behind them on the floor. They clearly have a rhythm together out there now.

— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 19, 2017

The NBA is taking Sunday off, so the only weekend game for the Celts is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern against the visiting Chicago Bulls (9-20 SU, 16-12-1 ATS), who have rattled off six straight wins SU and ATS since Nikola Mirotic (plus-0.7 BPM) made his season debut. Keep this game circled on your calendar, and from everyone here at the home office, may the sphere be with you this holiday season.

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