Boston Celtics 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Books Believe In Celtics Without Hayward
Photo credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum
Boston Celtics Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
The Celtics have gone over in five of the past six years (if you count last year, given that they were on pace for 54 if they played 82).
Last year’s win total for Boston was 48.5, the lowest it had been for a Stevens Celtics team since 2015-16. They breezed past that. The big reason there was skepticism towards that Celtics team last year, skepticism I shared, was their frontcourt was so short on impact players.
It didn’t wind up mattering because Daniel Theis filled in well, and they had enough contribution from Grant Williams and Robert Williams.
So why would this team be worse, even after losing Gordon Hayward, after they added Tristan Thompson?
Thompson is an impact big, able to rebound, run pick and roll, finish small plays that matter. He sets great screens and can defend on the perimeter on switches.
Let’s talk Hayward.
Yes, losing Gordon Hayward hurts, especially when the sign-and-trade didn’t return actual players. Hayward was valuable for his defense, passing, and on-dribble scoring, but all of those are things the Celtics have in droves.
Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown may all be better defenders at this point in Hayward’s career. Smart and Kemba Walker are better passers. Walker and Tatum are better scorers.
The Celtics just didn’t need Hayward with their roster makeup.
The Celtics are more balanced with Thompson. They have internal development not only with Tatum and Brown but with the two Williams bigs who are different but both have a lot of potential.
Not having to get as many players touches can be a good thing. With Kemba Walker out to start the season, Jayson Tatum gets to feast.
Is more Jayson Tatum a bad thing?
Brad Stevens put extra emphasis on winning back to back games. The Celtics are 30-24 on back to back games since 2017. That kind of advantage in a season like this could be the difference.
The Case for the Under
Walker is out for some undetermined stretch of time, at least until January, with knee soreness. So, to start the season, the Celtics are losing both Hayward and Walker. That’s two All-Star caliber ball-handlers.
The Boston offense without perimeter penetration can devolve into an NCAA offense, just whipping the ball around the 3-point arc with no real intent.
Thompson’s no longer a spring chicken, and the Celtics will still struggle vs. dominant bigs like Joel Embiid. The Celtics travel the fourth-most miles of any team in the league this season.
Boston Celtics Win Total Bet
I’m surprised this number was this high. I thought the loss of Hayward would drop them down to 47.5-ish per 82 games. But instead, the books are hanging tough.
This line’s too sharp. I lean toward the over, but I don’t love it unless this gets bet down. Even the high mark is too low with their range to go under.