Celtics vs. Jazz NBA Picks and Odds Breakdown

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Marcus Smart #36, Jayson Tatum #0, and Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics look on. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

The Celtics barely walked away with a win on Wednesday over the Sixers, but now they head on the road to face a much tougher opponent in the Utah Jazz.

Will they put up a better effort in this matchup? Let’s take a look at the NBA odds.

Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz Track

Friday, December 03, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Vivint Arena

Can We Trust Boston’s Offense?

There are several factors working against the Celtics’ offense tonight and with all of them combined, it may lead us to the correct NBA Pick as the total has done nothing but plummet since it opened. The first and biggest piece of news is that Jaylen Brown has already been ruled out for this game.

After making his return from Health and Safety Protocols, Brown had played in the last five games for the C’s as he works his way back into condition. He was listed questionable for all those games but played in all five, slowly getting his minutes limit increased every few games.

However, as we have seen with other players coming back from a long layoff of more than a week, trying to ramp up too quickly creates issues in other areas and Brown now has an injured hamstring.

Without Brown this season the C’s have weathered the storm, but they are now extremely top-heavy offensively against a team that matches up well with them. On top of that, being on the road has not been kind to Boston and it has started in the first halves of their games.

This is where the value is hiding for this game.

The Sharp Pick

On one hand, Boston has one of the better road defenses in the NBA this season. They rank number one in the NBA in road defense, allowing just 101.9 points per 100 possessions.

In the first half, they have been as good defensively, but their offensive numbers fall slightly, going from an offensive rating of nearly 104 to just 100.

That, along with not having Brown is enough to fade them against the Jazz. Utah owns the league’s top home offensive rating and their defense is slowly improving after their slow start to the year.

That being said, I think Utah could get a bigger lead at the half and cruise here in the second, so I’m a little worried about the full game and first half totals if Boston’s defense has a lapse.

However, I do think the Boston offense will continue to slide here in the first half.

Over their last five games, Boston is averaging just 95.5 points per 100 possessions in the first half. Only Detroit and Orlando have worse offenses during that stretch. Even including their embarrassing loss to the Grizzlies last night, the Thunder have a better offensive rating in that small sample.

I think Utah sees blood in the water and without Brown as a crucial option offensively, I see the Celtics being held to less than 50 points in the first half.

Utah has no problem slowing down the pace and I see them grinding down the C’s in the first half before unleashing the final blow in the second.

Boston is averaging just 47.2 points per first half over their last five and tonight the Jazz are as good or better than all five of Boston’s last five opponents. Three of those games for Boston were at home too so let's fade the Celtics in the first half for our NBA pick.

NBA Pick: Celtics Team Total 1st Half Under 50.5 (-120) at Everygame (visit our Everygame Review)

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Celtics Team Total 1st Half Under 50.5 (-120)
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