The Denver Nuggets (30-24) roll into Beantown Friday to play the Boston Celtics (31-25) at TD Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Nuggets at Celtics odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Boston has won eight of its past nine games, including six straight with the latest being a 126-91 beatdown of the Nets in Brooklyn as a 10.5-point favorite Wednesday. The Celtics are 6-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last nine games as well.
Denver has won back-to-back home games, beating the Nets 124-104 Sunday and the Knicks 132-115 Tuesday, following a 3-game losing skid. Over their last 10 games, the Nuggets are 7-3 straight up (SU) and 5-4-1 ATS.
This is the first Celtics-Nuggets game this season. The Celtics have won the last three meetings against the Nuggets and have covered four straight in the head-to-head series.
Nuggets at Celtics odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:49 a.m. ET.
Money line: Nuggets +180 (bet $100 to win $180) | Celtics -230 (bet $230 to win $100)
Against the spread: Nuggets +5.5 (-110) | Celtics -5.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 218.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)
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Nuggets at Celtics key injuries
PG Monte Morris (concussion) out
SG Jamal Murray (knee) out
SG Austin Rivers (hip) probable
SG Josh Richardson (trade pending) out
PG Dennis Schroder (trade pending) out
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Nuggets at Celtics odds, lines, picks and predictions
Celtics 112, Nuggets 103
Boston is obviously the right side but the -230 cost is out of my price range for an NBA money line favorite.
Against the spread
BET CELTICS -5.5 (-110) for 1 unit.
They match up well with the Nuggets and have quietly been playing amazing basketball.
Over the past seven games, the Celtics have the best net rating in the Association and by far the best defensive rating (97.5 points per 100 possessions).
Also, the Celtics feature their two All-Star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in isolation plays and both like to operate in the mid-range, which is where Denver’s defense is vulnerable.
In fact, the Nuggets are 21st in defensive field-goal percentage versus mid-range attempts (per CleaningTheGlass.com) and 24th in paint points per game (PPG) allowed. Plus, Boston runs the fourth-highest volume of isolation plays and Denver has the worst defensive efficiency versus iso-ball.
Boston has a defensively diverse frontcourt that could lessen Denver C Nikola Jokic’s dominance. Celtics C Al Horford and C Robert Williams III bring different things to the table but, together, they give Boston a tough defensive interior.
The bottom line here is the Celtics should have a lot easier time getting their superstars quality looks than the Nuggets.
BET CELTICS +5.5 (-110) for 1 unit.
BACK the UNDER 218.5 (-112) for a small wager.
Both teams are in the bottom-eight of pace, the Under has cashed in five consecutive head-to-head meetings and the absence of Morris is low-key a major loss for Denver’s offense.
Morris is in the 99th percentile of point guards for adjusted on/off net rating at plus-15.6 points per 100 possessions.
For the record, my favorite wager in this game is Boston’s spread but I do LEAN to the UNDER 218.5 (-112).
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