Celtics vs. Warriors Odds, Pick & Preview: Value on Over/Under in Elite Defensive Matchup (March 16)
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0).
- The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, two of the league's top defenses, meet Wednesday night in the Bay Area.
- The combination of Draymond Green for the Warriors and the Celtics' suffocating D means there is value on betting the over/under.
- Tyler Schmidt analyzes the matchup and gives his bet.
Celtics vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics are two of the hottest teams in the league right now and will play each other on ESPN tonight. Get your popcorn ready.
The best part about this matchup is both teams are coming in extremely healthy so we are about to see a fantastic showdown. Even Draymond Green is back after missing several games.
Let’s dive into this highly anticipated matchup.
Celtics Clicking on All Cylinders
The Celtics have started to cook lately, despite losing their most recent game against the Dallas Mavericks by three points. The Celtics are 16-4 in their past 20 games and have the best Net Rating (+12.2) in the NBA over that span.
The Celtics have climbed all the way up to fifth in the jam-packed Eastern Conference and are two games back from the second place. While the Celtics are 41-28 overall, they struggle on the road with a record of 17-16.
A big reason for the Celtics recent success is the superb play of Jayson Tatum. He has averaged 36.7 points per game in the month of March while shooting 50.6% from the field and 40% from behind the arc. His usage rate has climbed lately as Tatum is averaging 25.7 field goal attempts per game this month.
The second big piece of this Celtics team is Jaylen Brown, who can get scorching hot any time he steps on the floor. Unlike Tatum, he has struggled a bit recently. In his last four games, Brown is averaging 18 points per game while shooting 39.4% from the field and 24.1% from behind the arc. Both Tatum and Brown are still averaging over a 30% usage rate per game.
Outside of Tatum and Brown, Robert Williams III has really been a weapon for the Celtics defensively. He ranks third in the league averaging 2.2 blocks per game. He has made the Celtics into a monster on defense. This will be their toughest challenge yet as the Warriors are a fantastic offensive team.
Warriors Back to Full Strength
The Warriors are finally back in their groove again as they have won four-straight games. They are still a half-game back of the Memphis Grizzlies for the second-overall seed in the Western Conference.
A big boost to their team last game was the long awaiting return of Draymond Green. He only played 20 minutes off the bench, but was very impactful as he put up a very Draymond-like stat sheet. He finished with six points, six assists and seven rebounds, and had a team-high +24 Plus/Minus in the game.
It is obvious having Green back in the mix is a major boost to the Warriors production. He has missed 34 games this season. In the games that he has played the Warriors have a Defensive Rating of 102.2 compared to 111.7 when he is not in the lineup. Their Offensive Rating relatively stays the same, but the defensive stats are very alarming. He is one of their most important players.
The player who really benefits with Green being back is Stephen Curry. In less minutes played, Curry actually averages 3.7 more points per game while his usage rate increases from 28.3% to 33.1%. Green is constantly looking for ways to get Curry the ball and serves as the facilitator at the top of the key.
The playing time may increase for Green tonight, but it is uncertain how much. Andrew Wiggins is listed as questionable with an illness as he missed last game and didn’t practice on Tuesday. It is still hard to take away from how happy the Warriors are that their trio of Green, Curry and Klay Thompson is back together again. They have a league-record 29-7 when playing at home.
The part that sets both of these teams apart from anyone else is their defense. Yes, they have extremely good fire power on offense, but they rank first and second in Defensive Rating this season. Having Draymond Green back is a big boost to the under in this game. Both the Celtics and Warriors also play at a slow Pace. The Warriors rank 14th this season, while the Celtics rank 24th.
The line of the Warriors -3.5 is a little scary, even though the Celtics do struggle on the road. I would rather attack the total and rely on a defensive battle between these two teams. Both teams also rank outside the top 15 in field goal attempts per game. They are just two impressive defensive teams.
This total may move in our favor tonight being this is an ESPN game and everyone loves points and both teams have legit superstars. However, the under is the best bet on the board. I would take this down to 220.5 points.
Pick: Under 221.5 Points
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