Celtics Undervalued Versus Pelicans? NBA Free Picks

free picks-celtics

Jason Lake

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 12:19 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 12:19 PM GMT

The Boston Celtics looked like a good fade candidate for a while, but they’ve started crushing the NBA odds again. Will the New Orleans Pelicans be their next victims?

New Orleans Pelicans at Boston CelticsFree Pick: Celtics –4.5Best Line: 5Dimes

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Something strange is going on with the Boston Celtics. We had them in our sights as a fade candidate heading into the holidays; instead, the Celtics are 8-3 SU and 6-5 ATS since we put them on notice, and they’re on a six-game winning streak at 4-2 ATS heading into Tuesday night’s game (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA-TV) with the New Orleans Saints. Fudge buckets.

The Celtics (34-10 SU, 27-15-2 ATS) might be the right NBA pick for this game, too. They opened as 4.5-point home faves against the Pelicans (22-20 SU, 22-19-1 ATS), but FiveThirtyEight projects Boston as a 6-point favorite using their CARMELO-based formula, and ESPN’s Basketball Power Index likes Boston even more at 78.4 percent to win, or somewhere between –8 and –8.5 according to Wizard of Odds. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar, mama.

A Little Tenderness

Maybe we can just chalk this one up to injuries. Al Horford (plus-5.2 BPM) and Jayson Tatum (plus-2.3 BPM) are both a bit gimpy for the C’s, Horford with a sore calf and Tatum with a “tweaked” knee. However, both players are listed as probable for Tuesday’s game. Boston hasn’t played since Thursday, so that helps.

The Pellies have played twice since then, on Friday and Sunday, although their health outlook isn’t too bad, aside from some missing bench players like Jameer Nelson (minus-3.7 BPM) and Tony Allen (minus-5.6 BPM). New Orleans has a very poor collection of reserves as it is, leaning heavily on the 1-2 punch of Anthony Davis (plus-4.8 BPM) and DeMarcus Cousins (plus-5.0 BPM) in a very short eight-man rotation for coach Alvin Gentry. Those eight players went to OT in Sunday’s 123-118 win over the New York Knicks as 2.5-point road faves.

Overall, we still expect Boston to start coming back down to earth at some point. Their 31-13 Pythagorean record isn’t quite as stellar as their 34-10 Actual record. The Pellies (21-21 PYTH) have been a little lucky themselves, though, and they’re 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS over their past eight games. We’ll go ahead and recommend the Celtics at these NBA odds, but make it a small wager given the Horford and Tatum injuries, and may the sphere be with you.

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