Nuggets vs. Celtics Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet on a Defensive Showdown in Boston (November 11)

Nuggets vs. Celtics Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet on a Defensive Showdown in Boston (November 11) article feature image

Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

  • NBA fans are treated to an exciting matchup on Friday night as the Celtics host the Nuggets.
  • These are two of the best teams in the league and they've both been playing well, which should only add to this matchup.
  • Tyler Schmidt previews the game and offers up his best bet below.

Nuggets vs. Celtics Odds

Nuggets Odds+4.5
Celtics Odds-4.5
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Arguably the best matchup on this eight-game NBA slate is between the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets. Both teams come into this game with an 8-3 record and have won four straight games. This is going to be good.

Back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and rising star Jayson Tatum headline this matchup as they both lead their respective teams in various categories.

The Celtics are four-point home favorites and that game has a lofty total of 231. That is a plethora of points for two strong defensive teams.

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Denver Nuggets

Jokic continues to lead the Nuggets offense. He is averaging nearly a triple-double with 21.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game. Minus the career-high in assists, Jokic's scoring and rebounding are down compared to previous seasons. His usage rate is also down to 25.5%.

A big reason why is the Nuggets, specifically Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., are finally fully healthy. Murray is slowly getting his legs back under him after missing all of last season and is second to backup point guard Bones Hyland in usage rate, despite only playing 27.7 minutes per game. Through 10 games, Murray has only played over 30 minutes three times.

Porter Jr. also missed most of last season with a back injury. He is shooting the lights out from the perimeter at 48.6% and averaging 17.8 points per game. Having this duo back helps significantly, but they are not be up to full speed yet.

Aaron Gordon rounds out this very talented Nuggets group and is shooting a career-high 56.9% from the field. The offense is sixth in Offensive Rating (113.8) and is shooting a league-high 50.1% from the field.

Playing against the Celtics isn't as intimidating when Robert Williams isn't in the lineup. With Williams, the Celtics were the best defense in the league last season. However, through 11 games, they are 21st in Defensive Rating this season.

Jokic has struggled in this matchup, shooting 39.7% from the field over the past three matchups. A healthy team takes the pressure off of him, but Jokic will need a big game on the road as the Nuggets attempt to win their fifth straight.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics mirror the Nuggets in a lot of ways offensively. They have one superstar who is surrounded by very strong role players. That balance has made them the best offense in the league to this point. The Celtics are scoring 118.8 points per game and are first in Offensive Rating (117.6).

Everything for the Celtics starts with Tatum, who has increased his points per game in each year of his career. He's taken another leap forward this year and is averaging 31.2 points, while shooting a career-high 49.8% from the field.

Jaylen Brown hasn't been far behind Tatum in the scoring department, averaging a career-high 25.4 points per game. The offense runs through Tatum and Brown, the only duo in the league averaging more than 25 points each.

The Celtics only big news from an injury standpoint, outside of Robert Williams, is that Malcolm Brogdon will also be out. Brogdon is a key contributor off the bench, averaging 13.7 points per game in his first season with the Celtics. Expect Payton Pritchard to dust off his uniform and get some more action.

Marcus Smart has been a no-show in terms of scoring, but leads the Celtics in assists and steals. Pairing Smart with Derrick White has solidified the backcourt. However, White is averaging a career-low 7.9 points per game.

Expect Tatum and Brown to continue lighting up the scoreboard, but the Nuggets defense has some strength to it now that they are fully healthy. The Nuggets rank 20th in Defensive Rating, but it's early and they will get things going in the right direction once Murray and Porter Jr. are up to full speed.

Nuggets-Celtics Pick

Both the Celtics and Nuggets are off to a hot starts, especially ofensively. However, defense is going to show its head in this battle between two of the best teams in the league. Last season, the Celtics led the league in Defensive Rating and ranked 24th in Pace.

The Nuggets weren't too far behind the Celtics as they ranked 20th in Pace last season. Expect both teams to get back to their roots of playing great defense and slowing the game down in the half court.

Jokic, Tatum and Brown will likely find a way to get their averages, but this total is too high for two of the better defenses in the league.

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