Few Points Expected as Cooling Celtics Take On Grizz

Celtics NBA Picks

Jay Pryce

Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:19 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 3:19 PM UTC

The Celtics are cooling off, the offense in need of a spark, as they travel to Memphis to take on a Grizzlies team with just two wins in the last calendar month. Pick and betting preview here. 

Boston Celtics vs Memphis Grizzlies

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Free NBA Pick: Celtics -5Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

Boston Celtics (24-7 SU, 19-11-1 ATS)

Celtics Inexperienced and Regressing, More Offensive Trouble in Store

After a remarkable 16-game win streak earlier in the year, a Celtics regression was inevitable. They are 6-4 SU and 3-7 ATS over their last 10 games, failing to cover a 5.5 line by 5.3 points per game.

Some forget, or overlook the fact this team is incredibly young and inexperienced outside of Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and the injured Maurice Morris. The starting five features a pair of college-age players and no one on the bench currently has more than four years service. The professional grind is beginning to take its toll. When Irving and Horford are forced off, the team is highly vulnerable. Last night’s 107-95 home loss to the Jazz is a perfect example. Irving and Horford combined for 54 points, the rest of the team chipped in 41 overall.

The trip to Memphis is a spot Boston will likely struggle again offensively. Coming off a home loss as a favorite, the ‘under’ is 16-6 all-time with coach Brad Stevens in charge. Shooting 43.4 percent overall, the team has surpassed its projected team total just six times in this situation. The final tally comes up 3.2 points short of a 203.1 average total.

Memphis Grizzlies (9-20 SU, 10-19 ATS)

Grizz Lack Identity, Missing Conley

Memphis is 2-16 SU and 4-14 ATS in its last 18 games. The front office installed J.B. Bickerstaff as head coach on November 27 after the unexpected firing of David Fizdale. The change is negligible. This franchise is lost, lacking an identity. The grit-and-grind approach is gone and the personnel to support Marc Gasol and Mike Conley lacking. A team rebuild is fast approaching.

To be fair, Conley hasn’t played since late November and toughed it out for much of the season with soreness in his surgically repaired Achilles prior. Since 2015, Memphis is just 19-41 SU and 26-34 ATS with its oft-injured point guard out of the lineup. The offense is hurting particularly hard this season in his absence. In 17 games with Conley out, Memphis averages 94.2 points per game as opposed to 101.3 in the 12 games he suited up.

Pick

Let’s not overthink this matchup. Two defensive-focused teams sporting struggling offenses equals a recipe for an ‘under.’ It has hit in five of seven contests when the Grizz go off home underdogs with overtime helping surpass the total. Oddsmakers have not posted lines as of publication with each team playing the second night of back-to-back contests. Regardless, the number will not be less than 190, our prediction for the final combined score. Boston wins 98-92. Bet accordingly.

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