Streaking Celtics Heavy Chalk Hosting Kings, Who Will Cover

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 1:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 1:05 PM UTC

The streaking Boston Celtics host the slow-starting Sacramento Kings at TD Garden Wednesday night (7:30 ET). Need a pick? Click here for best bet, preview and trends.

Free NBA Pick: Kings +13Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics (-13)

The Kings are the second-worst team in the NBA with a 1-6 record following a 101-83 defeat at the Pacers on Tuesday night. It was another abysmal shooting night for the bunch, hitting just 42 percent from the field, 14.3 from behind the arc and 50 percent from the free-throw line. Rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox led the team with 18 points and 5 assists.

Sacramento has scored 93 points or fewer in more than half its games this season. Since trading away center DeMarcus Cousins last February, the squad averages 100.6 points per game. The team’s 9 wins in this span are tied with the Suns for fewest in the league. Only two players have put up 30 points in a single game during this time: Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield. Both efforts came in a pair of clashes against lowly Phoenix. Kings head coach Dave Joerger is desperately seeking a go-to scorer with Cousins departed. Unfortunately, the search appears far from over.

The Celtics are on a 5-game win streak following their 108-94 home win over the Spurs on Monday. Head coach Brad Stevens has the new-look team playing stellar defense. Boston allows 94.9 points per game (90.8 during win streak). The unit is preventing teams from getting easy transition buckets and open-look 3-pointers. The Celtics allow just 7.1 fast-break points per game and hold opponents to 31.4 percent from behind the arc.

New point man Kyrie Irving leads the team with 21.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. The four-time All-Star joins four others averaging double-digits: Jaylen Brown (15.4), Al Horford (15.0), Jayson Tatum (14.0) and Marcus Smart (11.4). Irving, the primary playmaker, is still learning the new system and bettors can expect to see the team’s numbers improve soon. The squad averages 101.6 points per game (23rd in the NBA) with a 49.8 effective field-goal rate (22nd).

Boston is 14-6 SU and 12-8 ATS in its last 20 hosting the Kings. The majority of failed covers occur when the Celtics tip off underdogs, going 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS getting 3 points or more. The ‘under’ is the proven moneymaker in the matchup, going 14-6 overall. The combined score is staying 8.6 points below an average 202.8 game total. But will history repeat itself in this meeting? Recent trends suggest no.

Since 2016, the Celtics are 1-8 ATS laying 9 points or more at TD Garden. This is their first effort this season with the Kings catching 13 points on the SBR oddsboard. Boston allows 109.6 points per game in this spot with all but one dog scoring 105 points or more. The ‘over’ is 6-2-1, sailing more than 11.3 points above a 215.1 average total. The Celtics' pace of play is nearly identical to that of last year (97 as opposed to 96.8), so extra team possessions are not the cause for the point explosions. It is a lack of preparation, execution or something else fueling the anomaly.

Despite the current trend, it’s tough to envision the Kings hitting the century mark against a red-hot Celtics defense. They rank second to last in the NBA in a host of key offensive metrics, including effective field-goal percentage (46.7), assists per field goals made (.485) and 3-pointers per game (7.1). The unit is at its best in transition with Fox displaying his speed and skill, but the Boston defense will not allow it. Expect it to be another ugly night for the Kings offensively.

The Celtics are not where they want to be on offense, either, particularly struggling to find easy buckets near the rim with only 46.9 points in the paint per contest (22md). Boston wins easily, but the low-scoring result will keep the Kings inside the number.

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