Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET (NBA-TV)
Free NBA Pick: Spurs ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
The San Antonio Spurs are back home after a quick post-Christmas two-game road trip in which they lost, but covered at Denver 102-99 as 4.5-point underdogs and won and covered at the L.A. Clippers Saturday night 122-111, catching 2.5-points. After a lethargic start to the season, the Spurs have picked up it up since Dec. 7th with a 9-3 SU record, beating the NBA odds an incredible 10 times. Coach Gregg Popovich credits the resurgence to the players on the Spurs getting to know one another after a roster upheaval. His thinking was DeMar DeRozan had to learn to play with new teammates and that was further complicated by Bryan Forbes taking over as the other starting guard. Forbes is in his third year and is a regular starter for the first time and is San Antonio’s fourth-leading scorer at 12.2 PPG.
Boston concludes a three-game road trip Monday and is trying to get back to the same form they were in from Nov. 26 to Dec. 14, when they won and covered eight in a row. Since then the Celtics play has been choppier than the Boston Harbor at 3-4 SU and ATS. In looking at Boston’s numbers compared to a year ago, they are very similar. What has been different this is offensive and defensive breakdowns for periods of time, which has cost the Celts games. During their recent three-game losing streak, Boston players openly admitted the chemistry is not the same as last season when leading scorer Kyrie Irving missed a third of the entire season (including playoffs) and Gordon Heyward never played one full game.
After being an outstanding road team a season ago at 27-14 SU and ATS, coach Brad Stevens players are laboring at 10-9 SU and 8-11 ATS. With increased expectations and a group that is playing less together, it has been a tougher go for Boston.
San Antonio, on the other hand, has been like they always are home, with 14-5 SU and 13-6 ATS mark, winning by 7.6 PPG. The togetherness aspect has worked for them at the AT&T Center.
- Spurs are 10-1 ATS in home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Spurs are 9-1-1 ATS when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Spurs are 12-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Spurs are 8-2-1 ATS after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Spurs are 6-2 ATS following a straight up win.
- Spurs are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 home games.
- Celtics are 5-13 ATS in road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
For NBA picks, Boston is an intriguing choice because the road team is 14-5-1 ATS in this matchup. However, when breaking down the game itself, San Antonio is playing well at home, is in a very good groove as a team, especially compared to the Celtics, and Spurs have covered seven of the previous nine. Take San Antonio.
Final score prediction: Spurs 108, Celtics 101