The Boston Celtics (22-23) look to remain undefeated without Rajon Rondo, as they continue to fight for all important positioning in the Eastern Conference. In their way tonight is an Orlando Magic (14-31) team that’s starting to gel and can beat any given team on any given night. How should we approach this game from a NBA betting point of view, and is an upset in the making?
The NBA betting odds have been slow to come out due to injuries on both sides of the ball. Glen Davis will be out for a substantial amount of time with a fractured foot, Aaron Afflalo is list as day to day with a calf injury, and Jared Sullinger looks to be out of Friday’s game with back spasms.
These injuries have caused the odds makers to side with the Celtics, giving them a hefty -9.5 price tag. While the Celtics are with out their leader, it is Orlando whe must rely heavily on it's bench. What does this mean for us bettors tonight when we are looking for the best sports betting options in this matchup?
What Does This Mean?
Except for the Davis injury, which is severe, the odds aren’t going to be affected greatly. Without Davis, Boston will just be that much more of a favorite. I’ll venture a guess and say that the Celtics will be a favorite of anywhere from 6 to 9 points. We must remember that All-Star guard, Rajon Rondo, is already out for the season. Both teams appear to be short handed and bench play will be key in this matchup.
Avery and the Jet
Point guards, Avery Bradley and Jason Terry have had the huge responsibility of filling in for Rajon Rondo. Thus far, they’ve split the time with Bradley as starter, and together they have done a decent job.
Neither player will provide the numbers that Rondo did, but combined together, they give the Celtics just enough leadership and offense to fill the position.
Look for more of the same from this duo. I keep expecting Jason Terry to have a huge breakout game, but he’s getting older and hasn’t played up to the standards that he did at Dallas.
“The Big 3 ?”
For Orlando, their success is quite simple. J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson need to have big games, while Nikola Vucevic is a force on the boards and can outduel Garnett.
In the final year of his contract, players usually step up and Redick is following suit.
In his last 5 games, Redick is averaging 21 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists on 52.3% from the field and a sizzling 54.1% from 3 point range. This is the best run that J.J. Redick has ever had for his entire NBA career and he’ll need to continue against Boston in which the Magic are short-handed.
Jameer Nelson hasn’t been as dominant as Redick lately, but he’s coming off of a 21 point, 9 assist effort against the Knicks. Nelson will go big in TD Garden.
Despite both teams being short-handed, it’s Boston that’s stepped up and continued to win. With the Celtics at home and Orlando’s last game against the Knicks taken into account, look for the Celtics to make it 3 straight wins without Rondo. Without Glen Davis, Boston should win by double digits here.
NBA Picks: Boston Celtics -9.5