The Boston Celtics have dropped four straight games, held to 88.8 PPG en route to a 0-4 ATS slide. Thursday night's NBA action has Doc Rivers’ club taking its floor at TD Garden against the New York Knicks, who fell short earlier this month against Boston in a 102-96 loss as 7 ½-point home favorites.
Celtics, Rondo edged out in Cleveland
Boston’s latest loss came in Tuesday’s 95-90 defeat as a five-point road favorite against the Cleveland Caveliers. The Celtics were held to 38.1 percent field shooting, while outscored in paint points, 46-28.
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo logged a season-high 13 boards, while finishing with 17 points and eight assists. Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce united for 28 points and 12 boards, with Garnett adding five of his side’s eight blocks.
The battle’s combined 185 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 190 ½, moving the UNDER to 5-2 in the Celtics’ last seven contests. Boston’s Jared Sullinger picked up his third double-double in seven games, notching 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Knicks, Anthony fall short on MLK Day
New York saw a two-game winning streak end in Monday’s 88-85 setback to the Brooklyn Nets, failing to collect as a 3 ½-point home favorite. The Knicks were outrebounded, 52-37, while held to a 40.5 percent day of shooting.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony piled in 29 points, while notching a team-high seven assists. New York’s Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 boards, while veteran Jason Kidd logged six of his squad’s 11 steals.
The duel’s combined 173 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 193, making the UNDER 4-1 in the Knicks’ last five games. New York went 11-for-17 at the foul line, while allowing the Nets to drain 12-of-24 buckets beyond the arc.
Back the Celtics as home dogs
NBA odds makers first opened New York as a one-point road favorite, with early wagers on the Knicks lifting the number a ‘hook’ to 1 ½. The ‘total’ was first set at 188, remaining unchanged after initial betting was mixed.
I am taking the short number here and adding the home Boston Celtics to my NBA picks. The Celtics have been on a losing skid, but should bring their “A-Game” here with a 4-1 ATS mark in their last five battles against foes with winning records.
Boston shot 52.7 percent from the field in its victory over the Knicks earlier this month and should find some spark again in this rematch. The Celtics topped their rivals, despite New York’s J.R. Smith and Steve Novak uniting for a 7-for-12 night from three-point land.
Boston’s Rajon Rondo leads the NBA's Eastern Conference in assists (11.1 APG), while knocking down 12-of-21 shots from the TD Garden’s floor in Friday’s 100-99 home defeat for the Celtics against the Chicago Bulls. The Celtics have hit field buckets at a 47.6 percent clip at home, while holding visiting foes to 93.4 PPG.
New York may be revenge-minded here, but comes into the battle with a 2-6-1 ATS mark in its last nine road spots against rivals with winning home records. Look for the Knicks to fall short again here, giving the money to Boston’s backers.
NBA Pick: Boston Celtics + 1.5
Read our NBA Picks: Thursday Night Parlay article for another take on this matchup.