Celtics Still Struggling, Pick Blazers for Sunday Showdown

Jason Lake

Saturday, November 10, 2018 6:50 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 6:50 PM UTC

The Boston Celtics still haven’t figured out what to do with all their players. The Portland Trail Blazers just keep shredding the NBA odds. Sunday’s pick is easy.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Nov. 10: 4-4 ATS, 1-1 Totals

Boston (7-5 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Portland (9-3 SU and ATS)Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, PortlandFree NBA Pick: Blazers ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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You had one job, Boston Celtics. All you needed to do was cover as 3.5-point road faves against an Indiana Pacers team that was playing the second of back-to-back games. And you failed, losing 102-101. Then you dropped the cash in each of your next three contests – hell, you almost lost to the Phoenix Suns (+9.5 at home). Sad!

Looks like our Employee of the Month award might go to the Portland Trail Blazers instead. They had the rest advantage on Nov. 1 when they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans, and they prevailed 132-119 as 6.5-point favorites. Since then, Portland are 3-1 SU and ATS, putting them near the top of the Western Conference standings. There isn’t a back-to-back situation in play for Sunday’s Celtics-Blazers game, but given the way these two teams are performing – and Portland’s small-market status – we’re going to recommend the home side for your NBA picks.

Road Apples

Fatigue will still play some role in this matchup. The Celtics are at the tail end of a five-game road swing, and Sunday will be their third game in four days after taking Saturday off. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers are wrapping up a six-game home stand at the former Rose Garden, and they haven’t played since Thursday. Advantage: Portland.

Then you have that whole small-market thing. No one outside the Pacific Northwest pays attention to the Portland Trail Blazers; for that matter, no one south of Washington and north of California does, either. Damian Lillard (plus-7.5 BPM) gets some attention as an individual star, but ask any NBA fan on the street about Zach Collins (plus-4.4 BPM), and you’re likely to be met with shrugs. Or pepper spray.

Gordon Haywire

Collins, for the uninitiated, was the BMOC (literally, at 7-feet tall) for the Gonzaga Bulldogs when they went to the National Championship Game in 2017. He struggled a bit as a rookie last year, but Collins has made big strides as a sophomore, giving Portland some much-needed support behind starting center Jusuf Nurkic (plus-4.9 BPM).

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Hayward just laughing at the haters 😂🤷‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/6Oxwr8A6so

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 10, 2018

Depth is not an issue for the Celtics, of course. Chemistry, on the other hand, is a major concern. Kyrie Irving (plus-6.0 BPM) may be back to his usual self, but Gordon Hayward (0.0 BPM) has yet to find his previous All-Star form, shooting a career-worst 39.4 percent from the field. And Hayward’s presence has completely messed things up for Jaylen Brown (minus-4.2 BPM). The Cs will probably work this out before too long, but for now, get ready to fade this underperforming brand name once the NBA odds hit the board.

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