Thunder vs. Celtics Odds, Preview & Expert Pick: Like Offense? This Game Is For You (Monday, November 14)

Thunder vs. Celtics Odds, Preview & Expert Pick: Like Offense? This Game Is For You (Monday, November 14) article feature image

Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • The Celtics host the Thunder in a matchup of high-powered offenses.
  • Both teams are riding winning streaks, so something will have to give on Monday night.
  • Jacob McKenna previews the game and shares his best bet below.

Thunder vs. Celtics Odds

Thunder Odds+11
Celtics Odds-11
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to the Boston to take on the Celtics in the second game of a four-game road trip.

Oklahoma City enters this game riding a two-game win streak with massive victories over the Raptors and Knicks this past weekend. Meanwhile, the Celtics come into this game with an even hotter hand as they have won six straight games and have only lost once in the month of November.

Both OKC and Boston have gotten hot on the offensive end of the floor, but only one team is going to be able to leverage its offensive abilities into a win. Will that be the Thunder in their second game in two days, or will the Celtics defend their home court and extend their win streak to seven?

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Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder looked like a team that had the potential to make some noise this season, especially after drafting Chet Holmgren with the No. 2 overall pick in June.

However, Holmgren suffered a foot injury about a month and a half before the season began and will not step on the floor this year. Despite that, OKC has shown tremendous signs of improvement.

The Thunder own an Offensive Rating of 110.6, which ranks 19th in the NBA through 13 games. It isn't a very impressive number in the grand scheme of things, but it is a massive improvement from their Offensive Rating of 103.8 a season ago.

Additionally, the Thunder are scoring the 12th most points per game this season with 113.4, another huge improvement from their average of 103.7 in 2021. That increase has come as a direct result of improved efficiency, OKC has increased its shooting percentage from 43.1% in 2021 to 45.0% in 2022.

The improved offensive attack hasn't translated to many wins so far, but it has helped the Thunder a ton in their most recent two games. In those games, OKC scored 132 and 145 points while posting an Offensive rating of 130.0. This team is the real deal on the offensive end of the floor.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics came into this season with redemption on their mind after losing in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors last season, and they are well on their way to making it back to the NBA Finals.

Boston has won six straight games entering this matchup. In that stretch, the Celtics have posted an Offensive Rating of 125.0, which ranks first in the NBA in that timeframe and further illustrates how dominant of an offensive attack this can be.

A big reason for that success on the offensive end of the floor is Boston's ability to spread the floor. Boston is doing tons of damage from behind the arc in the young season. According to TeamRankings, the Celtics are shooting 39% from three as a team, up from 36% last season, on just over 41 attempts per game.

However, while the offense has been lethal, Boston's play on the defensive end of the floor has been average at best.

The Celtics were arguably the best defense in the NBA last season, a large reason why we saw them go from .500 in January to winning the Eastern Conference. They owned a Defensive Rating of 106.2, but that rating has increased to 112.8 this season.

A piece of that can be attributed to not having Robert Williams available (knee injury), but most of it is because Boston has shifted its focus entirely to the offensive end of the floor since removing Ime Udoka as head coach. It has worked in their favor up to this point, but it has also led to the Celtics having some flaws in their game.

Thunder-Celtics Pick

Both Boston and Oklahoma City are as hot as it gets on the offensive end of the floor and I expect that to continue in this matchup.

On top of the offensive improvements made by OKC, the Thunder have been causing tons of problems for opposing defenses in the painted area. The Thunder rank first in the NBA in points per game in the paint with 56.7, more than a 10-point increase from a season ago.

However, OKC is still an average team on the defensive end, owning the 15th best Defensive Rating (110.7) and allowing opponents to shoot 46% from the floor and 36% from three. The Celtics will likely be able to take advantage of that and continue to pile on the points.

The over is 8-4-1 for Boston this season and has been just as good for Oklahoma City (8-5). I expect another high total in this one, a matchup that features two vulnerable defenses and two offenses that can score in bunches.

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Nick Sterling
Jul 14, 2024 UTC