Knicks at Celtics Odds & Picks: Expect a Defensive Battle

Jan 08, 2022
Knicks at Celtics Odds & Picks: Expect a Defensive Battle

I want to wake up... in a city... with sports betting! Thanks to the New York State Gaming Commission approving four sports betting platforms for mobile sports betting in the state this weekend, New York has officially entered the sports gambling world. To celebrate, we have a few bets you can place on today's NBA battle between the Knicks and Celtics.

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Knicks at Celtics Betting Odds

Celtics Knicks
Spread -7 +7
Moneyline -290 +230
Over/Under 208.5 (-110)

Knicks at Celtics Best Bets

*Lines accurate at time of publication.

Knicks +7 at Celtics (-110, DK)

This is a re-match of the fantastic battle between the Knicks and Celtics from Thursday, which saw New York overcome a 25-point deficit to earn a thrilling 108-105 home victory. All three games between these two teams have been fantastic, and this one projects to be a fantastic finale. Evan Fournier is listed as questionable with a thigh contusion, but I would expect the former Celtic to play and continue his scalding hot shooting. In three games against Boston this season, Fournier is averaging a mind-blowing 35 points per game, including a career-high 41 points on Thursday.

It's worth noting New York's main scoring duo of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett didn't actually shoot well, despite the Knicks winning. The duo was just 9-of-35 (25.7%), but they should see some positive regression tonight at TD Garden. New York has finally started to show efficiency on defense, ranking among the NBA's top-five stingiest teams the past three weeks. New York is just 18-21 against the spread, but 5-2 in their last seven games.

While Fournier will likely cool off (maybe?), I expect much better games with Randle and Barrett. New York finally has most of their team out of COVID-19 protocols, providing valuable bench minutes from players such as Immanuel Quickley (16 points, 3 assists on Thursday). I expect a much better defensive effort from the Knicks and will take the seven points in what should be another epic battle.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

Knicks at Celtics Game Total Under 208.5 Points (-110, DK)

While the Knicks have finally started to click on defense, the Celtics have been one of the NBA's best defensive teams all season—eighth-best through 39 games. Head coach Ime Udoka has slowed the Celtics' offensive attack, with Boston currently ranking just 20th in pace. It shouldn't come as a surprise under head coach Tom Thibodeau that the Knicks currently sit 24th in overall pace.

This is a critical game for two teams fighting to make the playoffs. Even with both teams shooting a combined 35-of-89 (43.2%) from deep, they only exceeded this total by five points last game. Assuming Boston solves the Fournier scoring riddle, I project both teams going under this total.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

Jaylen Brown Over 22.5 Points (-116, FD)

Jaylen Brown hit two three-pointers and tallied eight points in the first three minutes at Madison Square Garden last time out versus the Knicks, only to cool off considerably and finish with just 16 total points. I expect Brown to return to form at home, where he has averaged 23.4 points per game this season. In his last 10 contests, the 25-year-old sharpshooter has posted 28.8 points per game while only shooting 33.7% from beyond the arc—well below his seasonal average of 36.1%.

Despite the Knicks' defensive personnel, Brown has averaged 28.3 points per game against New York this year. I'm betting on a bounce-back performance from the Celtics superstar, simply reaching his seasonal average to crest this number.

Risk: 1.16 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter and subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.

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