Thunder vs. Celtics Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Should You Back OKC as a Road Dog?

Credit:

Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kemba Walker.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics

  • Spread: Celtics -4
  • Over/Under: 219
  • Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBA TV

This season’s top two teams against the spread (ATS) square off as the Thunder (39-24 ATS) and the Celtics (38-22-2 ATS) tip off on Sunday night in Boston. Where is the best value in two teams that have padded bankrolls throughout the season?

The Matchup

These teams are evenly matched and similarly composed. In the teams’ first matchup in Oklahoma City, the Celtics covered the opening line, but not the closing line in a one-point win. On Sunday, they’ll look to sweep the season series despite missing Jaylen Brown (hamstring).

Both teams effectively limit turnovers, play strong team defense, and get to the free throw line. Brown’s absence cannot be understated. He plays 34 minutes per game, contributes 20.4 Points Per Game and posts a 106.9 Defensive Rating which is an improvement over the Celtics team rating as a whole.

Normally, the Celtics have enough depth to overcome the loss of one of their starters, but with Kemba Walker not fully unleashed after his knee injury, and Gordon Hayward expected to return from his own knee injury, it’ll be interesting to see if the Celtics limit both of their minutes. On the other hand, the Thunder are fully healthy and will be looking to avenge last month’s loss as they jockey for seeding in a crowded Western Conference.

The Numbers

As mentioned, both of these teams excel ATS. But let’s dive a little deeper and find an edge:

  • Thunder overall: 39-24-0 ATS, +$1,368
  • Celtics overall:  38-22-2 ATS, +$1,439
  • Thunder as a Road Dog: 18-5 ATS, +$1,231.
  • Celtics as a Home Favorite: 14-12-1 ATS, +$151

As you can see, there’s a huge discrepancy in this spot for the Celtics. Although still profitable, the Celtics have not performed as well as a home favorite this season.

Additionally, according to data provided by Sports Insights, the biggest steam move has come on the Thunder at +4.

The Thunder are fully healthy, an in their element as a Road Dog. The Celtics are playing without Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward (if he suits up) and Kemba Walker both are returning from recent injuries.

While both of these teams are destined for the playoffs and have been profitable for bettors, the Celtics simply have too many variables for me. I’m taking the Thunder and the points.

The PICK: Thunder +4

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