Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#549 Boston Celtics vs.
#550 San Antonio Spurs
Friday, November 26, 2021 at 8:40pm EST
AT&T Center, San Antonio
Written by Chris King

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It’s an interconference clash on the parquet floor down in the Lone Star State. The Boston Celtics are on the road as they travel to face the San Antonio Spurs Friday night. Boston comes in off a 123-104 home loss to Brooklyn in their previous contest Wednesday night. San Antonio was drubbed 124-106 at home by Atlanta in their most recent game Wednesday night. In the all-time regular-season series between the teams, the Spurs own a 56-41 advantage. Last season, the teams split two meetings with the Celtics claiming a 143-140 overtime win at home in the most recent matchup on April 30, 2021.

Boston Celtics Try to Start New Win Streak

Boston had won three straight games but they were dumped by Atlantic Division-leading Brooklyn in a divisional clash at home Wednesday night. The Celtics dropped to 10-9 on the year and sat tied for third in the Atlantic Division, four games behind the Nets for the top spot. Against Brooklyn, Boston never led and the only time the game was tied after the opening bucket was at three. The Celtics trailed by seven after the opening quarter, by 13 at the half and by as many as 29 in the game. Boston shot 37.4% from the field, including 11 of 48 from beyond the arc, and allowed Brooklyn to shoot 50.6% from the floor in the contest. Marcus Smart paced the Celtics with 20 points in a losing effort.

For the season, the Celtics are 13th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 108.1 points per game. Boston is 6th in the league in rebounding with 46.8 boards per contest while they stand 17th in assists by handing out 22.8 assists per game. The Celtics are 19th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 106.4 points per contest. Jaylen Brown is second on the team with an average of 23.7 points plus 5.7 rebounds per contest. Jayson Tatum contributes 25.2 points plus 8.4 rebounds per contest, Robert Williams III chips in 9.4 points, 9.6 rebounds plus 1.8 blocks a night and Josh Richardson adds 8.9 points per game. Al Horford (12.8 points, 8.4 rebounds) and Grant Williams (7.3 points) are other frontcourt options. Dennis Schroder (17.5 points, 4.9 assists), Romeo Langford, Marcus Smart, Juancho Hernangomez, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith and Enes Kanter are other key rotation pieces for Ume Idoka. Boston is 23rd in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44% from the floor this season. The Celtics are 13th in the league in threes per game as they hit 12 per contest while they are 25th in three-point field goal percentage by shooting 32.6% from beyond the arc. Brown (injury management) is questionable here, while Richardson (non-COVID illness) is doubtful and Williams III (non-COVID illness) is out.

San Antonio Spurs Trying to Stop the Bleeding

San Antonio was handled easily at home by an Atlanta team that entered that contest 1-8 on the road for their sixth straight loss. The Spurs enter this game third in a horrible Southwest Division despite being 4-13: they were six games behind the Mavericks for the division lead. Against the Hawks, San Antonio was even after one quarter and led by four with under four minutes to play in the first half only to be outscored 15-4 the rest of the half to trail by seven. The Spurs were outscored 38-25 in the third quarter, creating a 20-point deficit, and they were unable to get close down the stretch. San Antonio shot 43% from the field, including 12 of 33 from beyond the arc, while allowing the Hawks to shoot 51.1% in the game. Bryn Forbes led the Spurs with 23 points off the bench in the loss.

For the year, the Spurs are 17th in the league in scoring offense as they average 107.3 points per game on the year. San Antonio is 27th in rebounding by grabbing 43.8 boards a night while they are second in the league in assists by handing out 27.8 dimes per contest. The Spurs are 25th in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 110.8 points per game. Keldon Johnson is second on the team with 14.9 points per game on the year. Jakob Poeltl (12.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists), Dejounte Murray (18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists), Lonnie Walker IV (10.4 points), Derrick White IV (11.1 points, 5.1 assists), Devin Vassell (12.2 points) and Doug McDermott (10.4 points) all are solid options on the offensive end. Keita Bates-Diop, Drew Eubanks, Tre Jones, Thaddeus Young and Bryn Forbes are other rotation pieces for coach Gregg Popovich. San Antonio is sixth in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.4% from the floor on the year. The Spurs are 30th in threes per game as they connect on 9.9 triples a night while they are 15th in three-point percentage by shooting 34.3% from beyond the arc. Zach Collins (ankle) is expected to be out until sometime in December. McDermott (knee) missed Wednesday’s game and is day-to-day.

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San Antonio is in a tailspin with six straight defeats and their inability to stop anyone defensively is shocking given Popovich’s resume as a defensive coach. The Spurs have surrendered at least 106 points in each of the losses in this slide and they’ve given up at least 114 points in five of the six contests. Those numbers simply aren’t sustainable if you hope to have success. Boston had won three straight before getting derailed by the Nets but Brooklyn has a very good offensive attack. There are former All-Stars coming off the bench with the Nets. You’re not going to see that most places. San Antonio is a rudderless team with no real direction or leader right now. Look for the Celtics to take advantage and earn the road win.

Boston has seen the under go 10-8-1 in their 19 games on the year. The Celtics are just 25th in tempo with 96.8 possessions a night this season. The Spurs have stayed under the total in in eight of their 17 games this season. They’ve recorded eight overs and a push on the year as well. San Antonio plays at the fifth-fastest tempo this season as they average 101 possessions per contest, which is a deviation from what you expect from Gregg Popovich. San Antonio has been proficient offensively but their defense has taken a hit as the season has gone on, leaving them in the bottom third of the league. With the Spurs’ sudden allergic reaction to playing defense coupled with their up-tempo style, you have to think that Boston can exploit this one and push it over the total.

Prediction: Boston Celtics -2.5

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Boston has seen the under go 10-8-1 in their 19 games on the year. The Celtics are just 25th in tempo with 96.8 possessions a night this season. The Spurs have stayed under the total in in eight of their 17 games this season. They’ve recorded eight overs and a push on the year as well. San Antonio plays at the fifth-fastest tempo this season as they average 101 possessions per contest, which is a deviation from what you expect from Gregg Popovich. San Antonio has been proficient offensively but their defense has taken a hit as the season has gone on, leaving them in the bottom third of the league. With the Spurs’ sudden allergic reaction to playing defense coupled with their up-tempo style, you have to think that Boston can exploit this one and push it over the total.

Prediction: Over 214.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.