The NBA Odds for this one were late coming out for a variety of reasons, but they finally opened up favoring the home Celtics at -2, with a total of 189 ½ points. Let’s take a look at the injured tonight for both teams, and then see if there is any value in the betting lines for tonight’s game.
Both squads tonight are dealing with less than complete rosters, and that could be one of the reasons why the spread is so low tonight. For the Celtics, they are of course still without Rajon Rondo, but they will also be without Kevin Garnett again as well.
KG is dealing with inflammation in his ankle, which will keep him out of the lineup for the next few weeks. While it doesn’t destroy their playoff chances, this may be what turns them into the 8th seed; something I was hoping could be saved for the Bucks who play the Heat well. The Celtics however should get Courtney Lee back tonight after his one game absence.
The Knicks on the other hand are of course still without Amare Stoudemire and a couple of other aging big men, but there is a possibility that the return of Tyson Chandler could happen tonight. Chandler has missed the Knicks’ last six games with a stiff neck and knee bruise, but he has officially been listed as a game time call tonight, which could mark his first action in a few weeks.
Both of these squads already play small ball as it is, but with no Garnett and the possibility of no Chandler again, these teams are going to be smaller than most college teams tonight. With Garnett for sure out, the starting frontcourt of the C’s will be Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, while the Knicks will counter with Carmelo Anthony and if Chandler sits again, Kenyon Martin will likely get another start.
Either way the injuries go, neither one of these teams has very much size or post presence here tonight. With that being said, I think the over is the right way to lean with our NBA picks.
The Sharp Pick
Even if Chandler suits up tonight for the Knicks, I doubt he plays his full complement of minutes, as this will be his first game in over two weeks. That is why I think we will see a very fast paced game tonight will little post defense.
Three of the last four times and four of the last six times these two teams have met the total has gone over. We have seem some very up tempo games between these two in the recent past, and I think we see some more of it tonight.
The Knicks have very little success in Boston, and facing a very depleted C’s tonight, I think that will help their scoring. On the flip side, if Chandler does sit again, this total is very good tonight. Small ball leads to higher scoring games because of the tempo, so take the over tonight to the bank.My NBA Picks: OVER 189 ½ at 5Dimes