Neither the Celtics or the Magic have been too reliable this season, yet we do see some NBA betting value out there to exploit. Find out why we like Boston inside.
The Celtics are small favorites here at home, and we have to say we're a little surprised the number isn't higher. Sure, the Celtics haven't been doing too well, but it's not like the Magic have been much better.
We should see a pretty high tempo in this one, which explains the O/U of 200.5 on our NBA odds. Boston comes in scoring the sixth-most points of any team in the NBA, having averaged 104.3 points per contest thus far.
The Celtics currently own a 8-14 record. However, they've managed to play pretty good basketball of late, as they're 4-3 over their previous seven games overall.
In that span, they've beaten the Pistons, Wizards, Lakers and 76ers, with the losses coming to the Wizards in a rematch and then the Hornets and Knicks. They've been hit-or-miss this season, but you can see the potential in this squad, as they've got some intriguing young talent and one of the best point guards in the NBA in Rajon Rondo.
We last saw Rondo and company take the court on Monday in an easy win over Philadelphia. The night belonged to Kelly Olynyk, who exploded off the bench for 30 points and nine rebounds. Boston held the 76ers to under 36 percent shooting and killed the home team on the break, scoring 25 fast-break points in all.
Boston's adopted a high-tempo style this season, and they've been scoring quite a few points on a nightly basis. However, they've struggled to keep up on the other end, which has been their downfall in the end. The Celtics are allowing 105.6 points a game, which is the 28th-worst mark in the entire league.
It hasn't been a glorious start for the Magic either, as they stand at 10-17 on the year. They're 3-5 over their previous eight contests and, more immediately, have lost three of their last four. They've been off since Monday's road loss to Toronto.
Sloppy play and inefficiency on the offensive end were the killers for Orlando in the 95-82 defeat. The Magic turned it over 19 times and simply couldn't get consistently good looks at the basket. Nikola Vucevic was quiet, finishing with only 13 points and nine rebounds, as it was Tobias Harris that paced the road team with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Like Boston, Orlando is a young team that seemingly has a lot of potential. Victor Oladipo is a jack of all trades and is getting better and better, while Harris has taken a big leap with his game this season. Vucevic has emerged as a go-to option in the frontcourt too, so there's definitely a lot to be excited about if you're a Magic fan.
However, there are going to be growing pains along the way, and Orlando has already suffered through some this season. The Magic, who are 7-11 on the road this season, are scoring just 93.9 points per game (26th in the NBA) while surrendering an average of 99.0 PPG (14th).
The OVER looks appealing, but we like the look of Boston as home chalk in this spot a little more.
The Magic have struggled to contain opposing point guards all season, so Rondo should have another stat-stuffing performance. And, even though the Celtics could struggle to contain Nikola Vucevic, we think the home team will make enough plays to not only win but cover the short spread. The results show us that Boston has been the better of the two teams recently.
With Rondo, Green and Sullinger leading the way, and quite a bit of talent coming off the bench too, bank on Boston covering on Wednesday night for your NBA pick.
NBA Pick: Celtics -3.5 at 5Dimes