Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics Pick 2/3/19
Oklahoma City Thunder (33-18 SU, 29-22 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (33-19 SU, 27-25 ATS)
When: Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 – 2:00 PM ET
Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Point Spread: OKC +3 / BOS -3
Power Rankings: Boston +4
Takeaways From Oklahoma City and Boston’s Most Recent Games
The Thunder extended their winning streak to seven games when they defeated the Miami Heat on the road on Friday by a score of 118-102. The victory marked Oklahoma City’s third-straight cover as they were favored by 3.5 points and the triumph also marked their fourth consecutive road victory.
The Celtics come in on a three-game winning streak. Boston enters in impressive form overall as they have won eight of their previous ten contests overall. Most recently, the Celtics defeated the New York Knicks on the road in The Big Apple by a score of 113-99 to generate their second cover in a row as a 13-point favorite.
How the Public is Betting the Oklahoma City-Boston Game
Presently, 63% of the betting consensus have found favor with the Celtics spotting the three points. In spite of this, the line has indicated action has come in OKC, as we saw the Celtics open as a 3.5-point favorite and descend by half of a point to their current number of -3.
The Celtics have held the upper hand in this series as of late as they have won the last three meetings between both combatants. The Thunder and Celtics last met in Oklahoma City in October where Boston went onto win 101-95 and produced an easy cover as a one-point favorite.
Both teams head into this high-profile clash with no prominent injury concerns.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Boston will be playing this one game at home before heading to Cleveland on Tuesday and then coming back home to host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. For Oklahoma City, this match will be the last fixture on a three-game road trip that spanned over 1,500 miles dating back to Tuesday when the Thunder kicked it off in Orlando. Both teams enter into this game on two days’ rest so needless to say there is no edge granted to either party heading into this contest.
Can Oklahoma City’s Presence On Boards Lead To Another Road Win?
A win here will empower the Thunder to a fifth-straight road win and an eighth consecutive overall. The Thunder have most recently scoffed up away wins in some less than hostile environments against the lowly New York Knicks and the pedestrian Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. Heading up to Boston is an entirely different animal as the TD Garden has become known as one of the most challenging places to play in the NBA. If OKC wants to be successful, they will look no further than their rebounding operations which provide a favorable scenario. The Thunder sits at third in the league in offensive rebounding (48.1 boards per game) and are up against a Celtics club that is 21st in rebounds against (45.4 boards per contest). Creating second chances will be essential in giving playmakers more opportunities to score.
Can Boston’s Defense Shut Down OKC’s Two-Headed Monster?
The backbone of Boston’s game is its rugged defense. The Celtics sit third in scoring defense and allow just 105.5 points per game. Boston is also one of the best at disrupting the shooting operations of the opposition as they allow opponents to hit second-ranked 44% from the field and just 33.5% from three-point range (2nd in the NBA). The Celtics have their hands full against the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the NBA that collates 114.5 points per game. The Thunder offensive attack is spearheaded by a two-headed monster consisting of Point Guard Russell Westbrook who averages a triple-double (21.5 points per game, 10.9 rebounds per match, and 10.9 assists per contest) and Forward Paul George who sits as the team’s leading scorer with 27.6 points per game, eight boards per contest, and four assists per match. The key match-up that will decide this game will be how Boston’s defense fares against these two game-changers.
Outside of their win streak against the Thunder, the Celtics have also been a cash cow against the spread in recent meetings against Oklahoma City. In the previous five meetings, the Celtics have gone 3-1-1 ATS. For Over/Under players, the Under is 4-1 ATS in the last five matches between both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Boston -3
The Celtics have shown all season long that they have a knack for playing at an elite level at home. On their own court, the Celtics are 21-6 SU. However, their portfolio of wins and most notably some dominant performances would suggest that this team is primed to put an end to Oklahoma City’s win-streak. Some of Boston’s highlights in the TD Garden include putting a season-high 135 points on the then best defense in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers along with two wins in Beantown against the defending Atlantic Division Champion, the Toronto Raptors. Boston also owns two victories at home this season against the Philadelphia 76ers and a victory against the top team in the East at the moment, the Milwaukee Bucks. Very simply, this team won’t even bat an eye at the Thunder and will hone their home cooking along with their physical defense to get yet another emphatic high-profile win. We trust Boston will win here and do it by more than just a bucket. Celtics will cover this one with ease.