Celtics vs. Warriors Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Boston Against Golden State (December 10)

Celtics vs. Warriors Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Boston Against Golden State (December 10) article feature image

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics.

  • It's an NBA Finals rematch as the Warriors host the Celtics on Saturday night.
  • Boston is the best team in the league and although a regular season win won't erase what happened in the Finals, the Celtics are still likely looking to make a statement.
  • Joe Dellera digs into this matchup and shares his best bet below.

Celtics vs. Warriors Odds

Celtics Odds-2.5
Warriors Odds+2.5
Time8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The NBA season is well underway and we finally get a chance to see a Finals rematch between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors emerged victorious in the NBA Finals, but these teams have had slightly different starts to the season.

The Celtics have absolutely destroyed teams and are a league-best 21-5. Meanwhile, the Warriors have struggled out of the gate and are 13-13.

Who has the edge in this NBA Finals rematch? Let's look at the odds and make a pick.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are anxiously awaiting the return of Robert Williams to shore up their defense, but they won't be receiving any early Christmas presents as he's already been ruled out of this one. Additionally, Boston will be without Al Horford, who has not cleared COVID-19 protocols. This is a significant loss since he's been the team's starting center and Blake Griffin will likely slide into that spot. Aside from Griffin, Grant Williams should see a bit more opportunity on the offensive side of the ball.

The Celtics have been transcendent this year. They have the best Adjusted Net Rating at +9.7 and are far and away the best offensive team in the league with an Adjusted Offensive Rating of 121.3.

They have done this via elite shotmaking at every level, and are focusing the bulk of their offensive efforts from three-point range. The Celtics have taken 44.1% of their shots from three (third-most) and have made 40.8% of them (No. 1 in the league). They are not only taking great shots, but making them as well — creating a math advantage that almost every team in the league is unable to keep up with.

The Celtics have also found relative success on defense. They started off slow, but are now giving up just 107.2 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks and are 7-1 during that stretch.

They are eviscerating opponents and using their defense to generate offense. Boston has been able to score 1.308 points per transition opportunity, per Cleaning the Glass. Boston has been a brutal matchup for everyone this season, and with the added motivational edge of facing the Warriors, the Celtics will be tough to contend with in this spot.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have had some difficulty with their rotations and will be without one of their key cogs in Andrew Wiggins (groin), who will be reevaluated on Monday. The loss of Wiggins is significant to the Warriors' depth and exposes their bench to minutes a touch earlier.

I'd expect the Warriors to insert Jordan Poole into the starting lineup. Jonathan Kuminga and Donte DiVincenzo should also see some run. I'm curious to see if, over the course of this game, the Warriors abandon Kevon Looney and we essentially see both teams play 5-out.

The Warriors have insane home/road splits. They are 13-13 on the season, but are 11-2 at home and 2-11 on the road. Maybe it's a comfort thing, but that type of trend is significant in our handicap. Generally, role players play better at home and given the Warriors' rotational struggles this seems to track.

The loss of Wiggins is significant because the Warriors have just five players with positive point differentials — Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Klay Thompson, per Cleaning the Glass. Every other Warrior has been a minus on the court.

Celtics-Warriors Pick

This is an interesting matchup for basketball reasons, not to mention the narrative of an NBA Finals rematch. Both of these teams shoot threes for roughly 45% of their shots (top four in the league) and convert on those looks nearly 40% of the time.

The Warriors play fast and the Celtics are about middle of the road, which could be a recipe for points.

The Celtics are simply dominant right now and are +13.7 in 1188 possessions without Horford on the floor. They have continued to rise to every challenge and when playing the best of the best — the top 10 in point differential — the Celtics are 6-2 (both losses to Cleveland) with a +10.6 point differential.

How have the Warriors performed against similar opponents? They are just 3-6 with a -7.6 point differential.

It is important to remember this is not the same Warriors team that won the Finals. Not only will regular season rotations differ from those in the Finals, but the Warriors are without several key players from their title run and their lack of point-of-attack defense throughout their rotations means they will rely a bit more on zone, which is not a recipe for success against a Celtics team that is cutting through defenses like a knife through butter.

I'll lay the points with Boston and back the Celtics on the road.

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