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A battle of Atlantic Division teams takes place on the hardwood up in Beantown. The New York Knicks are on the road as they travel to face the Boston Celtics Thursday night. New York fell 110-107 at home to the Wizards Monday night. Boston beat the Timberwolves 118-109 on the road in their last game Saturday night. The Celtics own a 291-182 advantage in the all-time regular-season series but the teams have split two meetings this season. In the last meeting, the Knicks took a 117-109 win here on November 21.
New York Knicks Look to Get Back on Track
New York battled but ended up falling short as they were knocked off by the Wizards at home. The Knicks now look to take down the Celtics for the second straight time. New York led by six after the opening quarter and by nine at the half before getting outscored 34-19 in the third quarter. The Knicks were unable to dig their way out of the hole late in the game. New York shot 41.1 percent from the field and hit 12 of 34 three-point attempts but turned the ball over 16 times to negate a 55-38 rebounding disadvantage. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for the Knicks with 20 points in the loss. New York is 7-6-1 ATS on the road this season and the over is 8-6 in those contests.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 4, 2018
The Knicks are 19th in the league in scoring as they average 108.9 points per game. New York is 11th in the league in rebounding with 45.9 boards per contest while standing 29th with 19.1 assists per game. The Knicks are 26th in scoring defense as they allow 114.4 points per game. Tim Hardaway Jr. leads the team with 22.1 points per contest. Enes Kanter is solid in the low block with 14.9 points plus 11.8 boards a night, Damyean Dotson chips in 11.7 points plus 4.6 rebounds a contest and Trey Burke adds 12 points with three assists per game. Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay (11.7 points), Allonzo Trier (11.3 points), Frank Ntilkina, Noah Vonleh, Ron Baker and Lance Thomas have to step up offensively. Thomas had knee surgery and is expected to miss at least a month. Burke is out indefinitely with an MCL sprain. The Knicks are 28th in field goal percentage as they shoot 43.8 percent as a team. New York is tied for 23rd with 10 threes per game while ranking 22nd in three point shooting as they hit 34.4 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Boston Celtics Seek Fourth Straight Win
Boston has been off since Saturday as they took down the Timberwolves on the road, giving them a nice break. The Celtics try to make it four straight wins and take down a division rival in this contest. Boston owned a three-point edge after the opening quarter, extended the lead to nine at the half and found themselves tied in the fourth quarter. The Celtics ripped off a 9-0 run to regain control and took the victory. Boston shot 47.1 percent from the field and knocked down 17 of 44 three-point attempts in the game. Gordon Hayward led the way for the Celtics with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists off the bench in the win.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 2, 2018
The Celtics are 21st in the league in scoring offense with 108.5 points per game. Boston is 12th in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards per game and stand 8th with 24.9 assists per contest. Boston is elite on the defensive end: they are 5th in scoring defense, allowing 104.1 points per game. Jayson Tatum is second on the team with 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest. Kyrie Irving (22.2 points, 6.4 assists), Marcus Morris (14 points, 6.4 boards), Gordon Hayward (11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds), Jaylen Brown (11.1 points) and Al Horford (12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists) are all contributing in the first quarter of the season. Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis are also looked at to chip in on both ends for Brad Stevens. The Celtics are 22nd in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.5 percent from the floor as a team. Boston is 3rd in three pointers per game with 13 per night while the team is tied for 10th in three-point percentage as they hit 35.9 percent from beyond the arc. Brown is probable with a back issue.
- Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- No Key Trends
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Boston has the weapons to take down most teams in the league. The Celtics have quality depth and they are well rested with having four days off prior to this game. Losing Burke hurts the Knicks a bit as he’s out with a MCL sprain at this point in time. New York doesn’t have the weapons to contend with a healthy Boston team at full strength. Irving and Hayward, invigorated after his big game, lead the Celtics to victory in this contest. The Celtics make it four straight wins here.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -12.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Boston has strung together three straight wins coming into this contest and Brown is expected to be back in the mix after missing a couple games with a back issue. The Celtics are trying to push back into the Atlantic Division race as they entered Wednesday in third place, six games behind the Raptors. New York is struggling right now as they continue to give big minutes to young guys. The problem is, the Knicks don’t have the star to build around, at least not until Porzingis returns in mid-February at best. Can New York get the win on the road here?
The under is 4-1 in the Knicks’ last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. Boston has seen the under go 8-3 in their last 11 vs. a team with a losing straight up record. The teams have stayed under the total in five of the last seven matchups in Boston and five of their last seven overall. Given the way things have been of late, this one falls under the total.
Prediction: Under 217.5
Full-Game Prop Bet
Kanter has been kept in check a bit in the Knicks’ last two games as he had eight points against Milwaukee and 13 against Washington. Some of that is due to a decline in minutes but it’s important to note that he still is a valuable scorer who can get some easy points off offensive rebounds and he does get to the line. In the four games prior to the last two, Kanter put up 17, 21, 16 and 17 points while recording double-doubles in three of those contests. The Knicks will need his presence and inside scoring to hang in here: look for him to go over the number.
Prediction: Enes Kanter Over 14.5 Points (-115)
Half-Time Side Pick
Boston has won three straight games coming into this one and the Celtics have plenty of rest coming into this contest. The Celtics’ depth and experience works heavily in their favor in this one. The Knicks are too inconsistent to have much faith in at this point in time. Missing Burke puts another crimp in New York’s chances. Boston gets the upper hand at the half as they take care of business against the scuffling Knicks, who have plenty of work to do.
Prediction: Boston Celtics -7
Half-Time Total Bet
Boston has been playing solid basketball of late and that’s a boost to a team that needs to make up ground in the Atlantic Division if they want to contend. The Celtics have held a solid advantage at the half in each of their last three games. Boston was up nine at the half against the Pelicans, by 10 against Cleveland and by nine over Minnesota. In two of those games, the Celtics have come in under the total set for the first half of this contest. With the Knicks beat up and struggling offensively, this one follows a similar trait and stays under the number.
Prediction: Under 110.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Boston is not a high scoring offensive unit so far this season despite the vast collection of talent in the rotation. The Celtics are still adjusting to having both Irving and Hayward healthy at the same time, as well as having everyone else in the rotation get their shots. It’s a good problem to have but sooner or later, they have to break out of their doldrums. As it stands, the Celtics have kept their offensive numbers down even in wins: look for them to fall under the total at the half here.
Prediction: Boston Celtics Under 59 (-115)