Celtics Defense To Shut Down Thunder On Sunday Night

Boston Celtics players in court

Jay Pryce

Sunday, December 11, 2016 5:11 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 5:11 PM UTC

Russell Westbrook is chasing triple-double history when the Thunder host the Celtics Sunday night (7 p.m. ET) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Join expert capper for a complete betting preview and get your NBA picks ready!

Boston Celtics (13-10 SU, 11-11-1 ATS)

The Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road trips, using a tough physical defense to stay within the number. In five of the covers, they have held opponents below their projected team total.

Offensive dynamo Isaiah Thomas will miss the game with a groin injury. The point guard leads the team in scoring (26.0 ppg) and assists (6.1 apg). Shooting guard Avery Bradley is capable of picking up the scoring slack, putting up 17.9 points per night. Marcus Smart will handle the ball exclusively. The second-year point guard already averages 30.4 minutes a night in the backcourt-heavy squad.

Defensively, Boston’s 103.1 points allowed per 100 possessions ranks seventh in the NBA over its last five games. New signing Al Horford gives it a dominant force in the paint. The Celtics roll out one of the most physical units in the league and make teams work hard every shot down the floor. They hold opponents to a 49.4 effective field goal percentage, ninth best in the NBA.

Boston has squared off against eight teams averaging 105 points or more per game. It has held all but one below their projected team total. The UNDER is 7-1, yielding 103.0 points per game.


Oklahoma City Thunder (14-9 SU, 12-10-1 ATS)

The Thunder had their six-game winning streak snapped Friday night, losing 102-99 to the Rockets at home.

The game is must-watch TV for Russell Westbrook’s quest for history. A triple-double will make it eight consecutive, the first player to do so since 1968. Nine in a row will tie him with the legendary Wilt Chamberlain for most all-time.

For the year, Westbrook averages 30.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 11.3 assists per game. Former Magic Victor Oladipo (16.8 ppg) and Enes Kanter (12.7 ppg) are the two biggest scoring threats behind the 28-year-old guard.

The Thunder step up defensively at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Their 102.1 points per 100 possessions are tied for fifth most efficient in the NBA when playing on their home hardwood. Where the defense struggles is under the basket. It yields 48.1 points per game in the paint.


Boston Celtics vs Oklahoma City Thunder 

Expect the game to be tight. More than half (5) of the Thunder’s losses have come by 5 points or less.

Boston’s defense will be the difference-maker in this one. Westbrook will ultimately have two bodies on him at all times, leaving Oladipo, Anthony Morrow, Domas Sabonis, and others open on the weak side of the floor for jumpers. The Celtics, particularly Bradley and Smart, excel at adjusting on the perimeter. Horford will protect the rim as usual. The Thunder will find it difficult to score. Boston covers in a low-scoring game. We’ll sprinkle a little on the money line, too. Celtics +4 is the free NBA expert pick


Free NBA Pick: Celtics +4Best Line Offered: at BetDSI

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