Sunday’s NBA slate of action is just as big and valuable as last night’s where we split NBA Picks. Tonight the Celtics & Magic hook with Orlando a +2 home underdog with a total of 203 ½.
Boston’s Bright Future
When you look at some of the lower tier teams in both conferences, and even some of the bad teams that are tanking and rebuilding, all of those teams are jealous of the Celtics. Boston has stocked up multiple 1st round drat picks, and even some prospective ones too, and they didn’t have to give up much to get them. Parting with Paul Pierce was probably hard, but in the end it has set them up for the future.
The surprising thing about Boston is they are already good. The Celtics should once again be a playoff team this season, and they have a nice stable of young talent already on the team. Somehow snagging the number one overall pick, or even a top three or five pick within the next few years might put the final piece in place.
The Magic on the other hand are on their way as well, but they are a few steps behind the Celtics. They too have some nice talent they accumulated via a good trade, but tonight even at home against Boston, it’s hard to believe they could beat them SU. Boston plays at one of the faster paces in the NBA, but at the same time as playing fast, they also play with improved efficiency and better defense as well. The Magic on the other hand have been playing around with their lineups so much that they have yet to find much consistency or efficiency with their roster. Bringing Victor Oladipo off the bench might be a good move, but it also might threaten their chances against the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley in this game, who have both been playing very well over the last several games.
The Sharp Pick
Both of these teams have dropped four of their last six games ATS, and in their last ten against one another the Celtics have owned the series 7-3 ATS. While the Magic have been trying to install a defense first mindset under new head coach, Scott Skiles, the Celtics have actually been playing better defense with a much better offense. The Celtics are top five in the league in Defensive Efficiency, and they are giving up the 8th fewest points in the NBA currently at 97 points per game. They have been very consistent as well, both on offense and defense. While Boston is only 1-3 ATS on the road against the East this season, their talent and play on both ends will end up getting them the win and cover here.
Boston has won six of their last nine games SU, and even though the Magic are currently undefeated ATS at home against the Eastern Conference at 4-0 ATS, the only conference team they have played at home this season that is better than the Celtics was the Raptors, who they played earlier in the season. Look for Boston to break Orlando’s streak tonight, so lay the points with the road team. Even though Orlando is 4-0 ATS as a home underdog this season, since last year they are only 17-19 ATS as underdogs at home.
Free NBA Pick: Boston Celtics -2 (-105) at 5Dimes