Friday NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions | Suns vs. Celtics Betting Preview (Feb. 3)

Friday NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions | Suns vs. Celtics Betting Preview (Feb. 3) article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Robert Williams III (44) and Jaylen Brown (7) of the Boston Celtics.

  • The Boston Celtics are heavy home favorites on Friday night when the face the Suns.
  • The Celtics have struggled a bit without Marcus Smart, but can the Suns take advantage of his absence in this matchup?
  • Andrew O'Connor-Watts breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Suns vs Celtics Odds

Suns Odds+340
Celtics Odds-430
Over/Under220 (-112 / -108)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Phoenix Suns face off against the Boston Celtics tonight at the TD Garden.

The Suns are coming off an embarrassing home loss to the definitively mediocre Atlanta Hawks and will look to set the tone with an upset win in their first of a five-game East Coast road trip.

On the other side, the Celtics wrap up a homestand highlighted by a statement win against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Let’s take a look at the odds as I’ll give my betting prediction and break down the matchup for the Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics.

Suns Struggling to Start Second Halves

It’s no secret that the vibes are bad in Phoenix, and that’s showing up on the court. While the Suns' record has been good recently at 4-2 ATS, their wins have been unimpressive since Chris Paul's return from injury.

Phoenix beat the bad-vibe Raptors, the Grizzlies in the middle of a road trip and the Spurs and Hornets—two teams that are either actively tanking or will be in full tank-mode soon.

Win or lose, Phoenix has started second halves sluggish lately.

Over their last six games, opponents have outscored the Suns in all but one third quarter. Still, in that quarter Phoenix gave up 30 points to the Charlotte Hornets, the 25th-ranked third-quarter offense in the league, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

One mark of a great team is how they respond after the break and how they adjust to opponents in-game; the Suns have not been great.

Since Paul’s return, they have a third-quarter Point Differential of -24 and are 26th in Net Rating (-7.2).

Can the Celtics Survive Without Smart?

Right as the Suns got their point guard back, the Celtics lost theirs to an ankle injury. Boston has played five games without Marcus Smart in the lineup, and they haven’t been particularly impressive at 2-3 straight up and 1-4 ATS.

However, despite some recent underachievement, the Celtics have still been solid coming out of halftime thanks to limiting mistakes on offense and crashing the boards on defense—especially at the TD Garden.

In the last three weeks at home, the Celtics rank second in third-quarter Turnover Percentage (8.7) and third in third-quarter Defensive Rebounding Percentage (80.4).

Boston has covered its third-quarter line in three of the last five home games for an ROI of 17.49%, according to EV Analytics. Only five teams have a better ROI over their last five games at home.

Suns-Celtics Pick

Looking at the full-game side, these are two teams I don’t want much to do with right now. The Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last seven, and the Suns are 6-2 in their last eight—but they have done so on a pretty soft schedule.

The Celtics have no business laying close to double digits against any team above .500 right now, and yet they easily cleared a similar number against the Nets on Wednesday, scoring 139 points.

I do like the Celtics to come out strong after halftime, though.

I wouldn’t take this number past -2.5, but I’d take -3 or -3.5 for half a unit as I see some blowout potential after halftime.

If the third-quarter line gets priced out, I might look to the under. Both teams are playing at the bottom of the league in pace over the past five games, and four of their last five meetings have gone under the total. However, the total has already taken some sharp under money, and I'd need a higher number. If the total gets steamed up, I'll play the under at 226.5 or better.

Pick: Celtics 3Q at -2.5 for 1 Unit (or -3 to -3.5 for .5 Units)

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