Boston Celtics vs. San Antonio Spurs: Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview
BOSTON CELTICS VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS GAME INFORMATION
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: AT&T Center
TV Coverage: TNT
BOSTON CELTICS VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS MONEYLINE, SPREAD, TOTAL, AND ODDS
Moneyline: Celtics -158 | Spurs +134
Spread: Celtics -3.5
NBA Championship Odds: Celtics +2000 | Spurs +13000
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BOSTON CELTICS VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS NEWS AND NOTES
The Celtics enter this contest essentially as healthy as they’ve been all season. Kemba Walker returned to the lineup recently after missing the first 11 games while recovering from a knee procedure during the offseason. He sat out the Celtics last game on the second leg of a back-to-back, but he should be back in the lineup vs. the Spurs. He’s still playing limited minutes, but he was one of the Celtics’ most important offensive options last season. Having him back in the lineup is undoubtedly a good thing moving forward.
Jayson Tatum also returned to the Celtics lineup recently, and he is their best player. Everyone knows how talented he is offensively, but he’s also blossomed into one of the league’s best defenders. He ranked sixth in the league in defensive win shares last season, and Giannis Antetokounmpo was the only wing player with a better mark.
Payton Pritchard is the only real absence of note for the Celtics. He’s been a solid role player this season, but his minutes probably would’ve decreased with Walker back anyway.
As for the Spurs, they’re still playing without Derrick White. White emerged as a promising young player last season, particularly in the Orlando bubble. He averaged 18.9 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game during the restart, and he’s a big part of the Spurs’ plans.
BOSTON CELTICS VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS PREVIEW AND PICK
Now that the Celtics are basically back to full strength, they have the potential to really get rolling. They’ve played well to begin with this season – they’re tied for second in the Eastern Conference standings and rank eighth in the league in Net Rating – but this will be their first game this season with both Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker in the lineup.
Unsurprisingly, the Celtics were excellent last season with Tatum, Walker, and Jaylen Brown on the court together. They posted a Net Rating of +8.9 in that situation, so expect the Celtics to get better this season with all three players in the lineup.
The Spurs have played better basketball recently, winning seven of their past 11 games, but it has not come against the best competition. They did win games vs. the Clippers and Lakers over that stretch, but their other wins have come against the Timberwolves, Thunder, Rockets, Blazers, and Wizards. None of those teams are particularly imposing.
The Spurs also have homecourt advantage in this contest, but that has a minimal impact this season. San Antonio, in particular, has gotten virtually no boost from playing at home.
Brad Stevens is one of the best coaches in the league, and his specialty from a betting perspective is getting his team to cover on the road. The Celtics are 160-120-5 against the spread with Stevens as coach, making him the second-most profitable coach in that situation dating back to 2006. Only Rick Carlisle has made bettors more money when his team is playing away from home.
Add it all up, and there’s enough here to make a play on the Celtics as small favorites.
The Pick: Celtics -3.5