New York Knicks at Boston Celtics Predictions 12/18/21
New York Knicks (13-16 SU, 12-17 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (14-15 SU, 14-13-2 ATS)
When: Saturday December 18 2021, 07:00 PM (ET)
Where: TD Garden: Boston, Massachusetts
Point Spread: NYK 4.5/BOS -4.5 (Opened at BOS -4.5 at BetNow)
Total: 210.5 (Opened at 210.5)
Money Line: New York 160/Boston -200)
Power Rating: BOS -7
Probable Starting Lineups
Knicks: PG Alec Burks, SG Derrick Rose, SF Evan Fournier, PF Julius Randle, C Nerlens Noel
Celtics: PG Marcus Smart, SG Jaylen Brown, SF Jayson Tatum, PF Al Horford, C Robert Williams III
Knicks RJ Barrett: illness (OUT) Quentin Grimes: illness (OUT) Kevin Knox II: illness (OUT) Immanuel Quickley: illness (OUT) Obi Toppin: illness (OUT)
Celtics Bruno Fernando: back (QUESTIONABLE) Juancho Hernangomez: illness (OUT) Al Horford: illness (OUT) Jabari Parker: illness (OUT) Dennis Schroder: illness (QUESTIONABLE) Grant Williams: illness (OUT)
The New York Knicks enter today’s game, having won three of their past ten games. When playing away from home, the Knicks are an above .500 team, having gone 8-6. As the road team, the Knicks travel to Boston with an positive plus-minus rating of 2.6 points. Overall the Knicks are ranked 22nd among NBA teams in point differential (1.7). Among NBA teams, they have played the 16th toughest schedule.
For bettors, taking the New York Knicks to cover the spread has been a losing bet as they are covering in 41.40% of their games. Their season-long plus-minus against the spread is -2.9.
On offense, the team’s leading scorer is PF Julius Randle, averaging 19.59 points per game. Randle is also the team’s top rebounder at 9.76 boards per game. The Knicks’ best three-point shooter has been Evan Fournier, connecting on 2.41 shots from downtown per game.
The Boston Celtics enter today’s game, having won four of their past ten games. When playing away from home, the Celtics are an above .500 team, having gone 7-5. As they get set to host the Knicks, Boston has a positive home plus-minus of 0.7 points. Overall, the Celtics are ranked 13th among NBA teams in point differential (0.9).
For bettors, taking the New York Knicks to cover the spread has been a winning bet as they are covering in 51.90% of their games. Their season-long plus-minus against the spread is -0.1.
On offense, the team’s leading scorer is SF Jayson Tatum. So far, Tatum is averaging 26.21 points per game. To go along with scoring, Tatum also leads the team in both three-point shooting and rebounding.
An Eye On Pace
Tonight’s game will feature two teams who prefer to slow the game down by limiting possessions. Through 29 games, the Knicks are averaging 96 possessions per contest compared to the Celtics at 97. Even with playing at a slow-temp, New York is ranked 11th in three-point attempts per game. On the other side, Boston has done a good job getting to the line, ranking 3rd in free-throw attempts.
Matchups And Efficiencies
A key aspect to watch in this game is which team is able to play defense without fouling. So far, the Celtics are getting to the line at a rate of 20% relative to their field goal attempts. As for the Knicks, they are right behind at 19%. Each team’s offense is heavily reliant on these opportunities as both units struggle to connect on field goals at an efficient rate.
Tonight’s matchup between the Knicks and Celtics will be their second meeting of the season. In the first game, the teams needed two overtimes, ultimately ending in a 138-134 win for New York.
How the Public is Betting the Knicks vs. Celtics
62% are betting the Knicks against the spread.
54% are wagering on the game to go Over the posted total of 210.5
Betting Trends Worth Noting
- Knicks are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- The Knicks are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
- The Celtics are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games playing on 0 days rest.
- The Celtics are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Joe’s Pick To Cover The Spread
Coming into this game, both rosters are heavily affected by a recent spike in cases of COVID 19 across the league. Although each team has key players on the health and safety protocols list, I see the Celtics being more heavily affected. Playing without Al Horford, Dennis Schroder, and Grant Williams substantially depletes the team’s depth. Look for the Knicks to come away with a win that covers the spread.
Prop Bets Worth Wagering
My favorite prop bet of the night is to take Jayson Tatum to go over his player pro total. As of late, Tatum has been on a scoring tear. Without several of his key teammates, the Celtics star will need to carry the load. Look for Jayson Tatum to flirt with 30 points in tonight’s game.
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