NBA Picks: Take 'Over' 203.5 On Fast-Paced Celtics vs. Jazz

Jordan Sharp

Monday, February 29, 2016 4:10 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 4:10 PM GMT

The Celtics have been rolling recently, and now they face a tough game against the Jazz. The NBA odds boards have the Celtics as -6 favorites, but the total is where I am looking to tonight.

Boston’s Big Second Half
The Celtics have bee turning it on recently and it has really shown not only in the standings but in their advanced metrics as well. The Celtics are one of only a few teams this year that have an Offensive and Defensive Rating inside the top ten of the league, and tonight against the Jazz they are going to need every bit of their offense to beat one of the better defensive teams in the NBA.

However, while we think of the Jazz as a solid defensive team, a lot of that has to do with their pace which is the slowest in the NBA. Now on the road against the Celtics who play at the 3rd fastest pace of any team in the league, and Utah might not play so slow tonight. With the insertion of Shelvin Mack into the starting lineup, the Jazz already play a little faster, but their pace on road games even before Mack was traded to the team has been pretty fast as well.

However, tonight against the Celtics, it’s probably easy to say that Utah will be playing faster as well. In their last game against the Nets, the Jazz played at a pace faster than 101, and while it has not helped their record over their last seven games, losing five out of those seven, I think against a team like Boston who will give up points as well, the over could be a very good and potentially sneaky wager heading into Monday’s slate of NBA odds boards.

 

The Sharp Pick
This total has been going up ever since it opened, so we are not the only ones who think this one could be higher scoring by the end of the evening. After opening at 199, the total has gone up to 202 ½, and is even starting to hit 203 and higher.

This could be because of how good the Celtics have been on offense this month. Boston is averaging 112 points per game in the month of February, and they are giving up close to 108 points per game in that same stretch. While Utah’s defense could hold them down some tonight, the Celtics’ depth and potential for mismatches tonight will give the Jazz some problems. These two teams played recently this month, and even though the Jazz are one of the best teams in the NBA I defending big men, Jared Sullinger still almost had a double-double against them because of how bad of a matchup he is for less mobile bigs.

On top of that, the Jazz have been giving up a lot more points recently on the road. On the year Utah is only 13-14 cashing the over, however, they have now cashed the over in six of their last eight road games, and their defense has been a big part of it. Utah is giving up 109 points per game in their last four road games, and if you stretch it out to the beginning of 2016, they are allowing 103 points per game on the road. With how Boston is playing recently, we could easily see both of these teams getting above 100 points tonight, which would make the over one of the more valuable total plays of the night.

 

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NBA Pick: Over 203.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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