NBA Picks: Bet Celtics to Cover ATS vs. Struggling Pelicans

Jordan Sharp

Monday, December 7, 2015 2:57 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 2:57 PM GMT

The surprising Celtics are at it again tonight as they head on the road to play Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. The NBA odds have the Celtics as slight +1 underdogs on the road.

Pelicans’ Slow Start
New Orleans might have played themselves out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with their slow start to the season, as they sit at 5-15 SU and are looking up at five teams that are all ahead of them, but still in the lottery. A lot of their early-season struggles boil down to their lack of defense, and their lack of talent. Jrue Holiday has been on a minutes restriction all season and can’t play in back to backs. Anthony Davis has been knocked out of a couple of games already this season, and Tyreke Evans just came back from his injury and is getting his feet back under him. In the East they may have been able to recover from such a start, but even though there are still more than 60 games to go, the Pelicans are going to have to find ways to win games like the one tonight if they want to get back into the playoff picture.

That’s going to be difficult against one of the league’s most undervalued teams. The Celtics rank in the top third of the league in both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, and along with their rapid pace and deep bench under Brad Stevens, this team is one super start or lucky draft pick away from being a contender in the East. Even now they are almost a lock to make the playoffs in the East after starting above .500, and even though they aren’t currently in the playoffs if they started today, there are at least two teams ahead of them in the standings that might not be there by the time the season ends.

Even if they miss the playoffs, Boston would still have the luxury of gaining another lottery pick of their own this season, as well as the potential three other first round picks they could have this season. Needless to say, the Celtics have a bright future regardless.

 

The Sharp Pick
New Orleans is giving up an embarrassing 109 points per game this season, and even with some of the more recent struggles of the Celtics, I am taking the point with Boston tonight. The Celtics’ don’t have anyone they can throw at Davis tonight, but they have enough on the defensive end to shut down other members of the Pelicans. Boston is also a very respectable 6-4 ATS on the NBA odds on the road this season, and they have been severely undervalued on the road against the West this season. Boston is 4-2 ATS against the West overall this season, and 4-0 ATS against the West when playing on the road.

In their six inter-conference games this season, the Celtics have averaged 103 points per game, and given up only 97. Against a Pelicans team that is one of the worst defensive teams in the entire league, Boston is the play. New Orleans is only 1-5 SU against the East this season and 2-4 ATS, while only averaging 98 points per game. Take the point with Boston as the NBA pick.

NBA Pick: Celtics +1 at Heritage

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