|Another key battle on Monday's NBA betting card is the
Grizzlies and Jazz getting together in Memphis.
This Monday the Boston Celtics travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks
in what could be a preview of a first-round matchup in this year’s NBA playoffs. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.
Boston finds itself tied with Chicago atop the Eastern Conference, but with Miami just two games back the Celtics could easily slip all the way to third by the season’s end.
They are coming off an 89-85 victory over New Orleans this past Saturday as a one-point road favorite after an ugly 93-77 loss to Houston as a 1 ½-point road favorite on Friday night. Boston is now 49-19 straight-up and 32-34-2 against the spread.
Ray Allen’s team-high 20 points against the Hornets sparked a dramatic 15-point comeback in the second half. He is the team’s second leading scorer with 17.3 points a game behind Paul Pierce ( 18.5). Kevin Garnett leads in rebounds with nine a game and is averaging 14.9 points while Glen Davis continues to play a bigger role off the bench since the trade of Kendrick Perkins.
Boston is averaging 97.2 points a game and leads the league in fewest points allowed, giving up an average of just 91. It also leads the league in shooting percentage, hitting 48.8 percent of its shots from the field. The Celtics are shooting 36.9 percent from three-point range and 76.4 percent from the foul line.
New York continues to struggle with consistency with a 5-5 SU record in its last 10 games. This past Thursday the Knicks rolled over Memphis 120-99 as a five-point home favorite only to fall flat in 99-95 loss to Detroit as 3 ½-point road favorite the following night. Heading into Sunday’s game against Milwaukee, they are 35-33 SU (40-26-2 ATS) and tied with Philadelphia for sixth-place in the East.
The Knicks lineup has the star power with Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billips all healthy and contributing at a high level, but unfortunately it is not translating to wins. Stoudemire leads the team with 26.2 points and 8.3 rebounds and Anthony is averaging 24.6 points a game since coming over from Denver. Billips has only appeared in seven games since the late February trade but he is averaging 19.1 points and a team-high 5.9 assists during that span.
Ironically enough, New York is second only to the Nuggets in scoring with an average of 106.6 points a game, but is 28th in the league in points allowed; giving up an average of 105.8 a game. The Knicks are ranked 20th in the NBA in rebounds with 40.7 a game while their opponents are pulling down an average of 43.7 boards a game, which is one of the worst differentials in the league.
Boston is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games and 3-6 ATS in its last nine games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in its last six games.
New York is 3-2 ATS in its last five games at home, but just 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of its last seven games.
Head-to-head, the Celtics have won eight of the last 10 games SU, but the Knicks are 5-1 ATS in the last six. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of the last seven meetings. Boston pulled out a 118-116 win as a four-point road favorite in mid-December in the only meeting between the two teams this season.
This time around the Celtics should once again be a slight road favorite and remain a solid play against the weary Knicks, who will be playing their fourth game in five days.