Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics Preview and Pick – Point Spread – Betting Odds

Denver Nuggets (47-24 SU 31-36-4 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (45-25 SU 28-40-2 ATS) TD Garden, Boston, MA 7 PM EST Wednesday March 24, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Nuggets +5 / Celtics -5
Over/Under: 206

Tonight in a non-conference match up between a couple of teams coming off a loss the Boston Celtics host the Denver Nuggets. The Celtics dropped their last game, which was their last of a road trip out west, and are 6-4 in their last 10 games and the Nuggets have lost 2 in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Each team will host a 1st round playoff series, but each still wants to end the season well to improve their playoff positioning. The Celtics are tied with the hawks for the 3rd spot in the East and they want to stay in 3rd so they would avoid playing LeBron James and Cleveland in the 1st round of the playoffs. The Nuggets are tied with the Mavericks for 2nd in the West and want to stay in 2nd so they can host a possible 2nd round playoff series.

This season the Celtics are 21-12 at home and the Nuggets are 17-18 on the road.

Boston does have a better record on the road than at home, but they have won 3 straight and 8 of their last 12 in their house.

In terms of opponents’ points allowed Boston has the 2nd best defensive squad in the NBA. In their last game against the Nuggets in Denver they did not show it allowing the Nuggets to shoot 51.3% from the floor and put up 114 points.

Denver’s leading rebounder Kenyon Martin (11.8 ppg 9.6 rpg) has missed 9 straight games with a knee injury and he will be a game time decision tonight. Denver really missed his work on the boards and in last night’s loss to the Knicks Denver was out rebounded by a weak New York team on the boards.

The Nuggets are not a solid defensive team so Carmelo Anthony (28.9 ppg) and Chauncey Billups (20 ppg) will have to score tonight.

If Martin can’t go tonight the Nuggets will have to suck it up as a team and not allow the Boston big men of Kendrick Perkins (10.4 ppg 7.7 rpg) and Kevin Garnett (14.2 ppg 7.4 rpg) to dominate the glass.

In their last game the Celtics lost to the Utah Jazz 110-97 on Monday night. The high scorer for Boston in the game was Ray Allen going for 15 points on only 4/12 shooting. For the game the Celtics shot 33/74 for a FG% of 44.6%. On defense the Celtics took the night off allowing the Jazz to shoot 38/74 for a FG% of 51.4%.

The Nuggets lost their last game falling to the New York Knicks 109-104 last night. The high scorer for Denver in the game was Melo going for 36 points on 14/26 shooting. For the game the Nuggets shot 35/77 from the floor for a FG% of 45.5%. On defense the Nuggets allowed the Knicks to shoot 36/78 for a FG% of 46.2%.

This season the Nuggets rank 3rd in the league in scoring (107.5 ppg) and the Celtics only rank 19th (98.8 ppg). On defense the tables are turned, as the Celtics rank 2nd in points allowed (94.4 ppg) while the Nuggets only rank 22nd (102.4 ppg). Denver has a rebounding differential of 0.0 rpg and the Celtics are at -1.0 rpg.

According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Nuggets rank 5th (94.25) and the Celtics rank 6th (93.85).

Boston is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite, and is 7-18 ATS in their last 25 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5.

Boston has an Over record of 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5, an Over record of 4-1 in Celtics last 5 games against teams with a winning percentage above 60%, and an Over record of 6-1 in their last 7 games following an ATS loss.

Denver is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games, 3-1-2 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog, and is 5-0-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5.

Denver has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 games, an Under record of 5-2 in their last 7 road games, and an Under record of 12-5 in their last 17 games as a road underdog.

In the last 9 games between these 2 teams the total has gone Over 7 times.

Jason’s Pick: The Celtics are playing well at home lately and the Nuggets are struggling, especially with Martin out. I expect a high scoring game with the Celtics covering the spread.