Knicks vs. Celtics NBA Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

The New York Knicks will travel to Boston to take on the Celtics. With both teams shorthanded, what can we expect in this one?

Let’s see what the NBA odds tell us!

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at TD Garden

Betting Preview

If you’re like me, you’ve been having trouble keeping up with all the players in COVID protocol. The Knicks are currently without Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox II, and Immanuel Quickley due to protocols and might not have Derrick Rose, who is day-to-day with an injury.

Meanwhile, Boston will be without Grant Williams, Juancho Hernangomez, Al Horford, and Jabari Park due to COVID protocols. Currently, Dennis Schröder is questionable with an illness not related to COVID. So there’s that. Now both of these two teams will play one another shorthanded.

I guess it’s fair knowing both teams are going through this and both have key players out. Either way, let’s find a winner with what we’ve got.

Expert Analysis

The Knicks have scored 110.7 points per 100 possessions this season but have an effective field goal percentage of 52.1 percent on the year. New York will still have a big playmaker in Julius Randle and will likely have to rely on him more in this game.

New York turns the ball over at an above-average rate but are capable of extending possessions with 26.8 percent offensive rebounds this season. The Knicks also get to the line at a very high rate, which will be needed against Boston.

The Celtics, on the other hand, allow 107.8 points per 100 possessions and limit teams to a 51.5 effective field goal percentage. Boston will tend to foul at a high rate, so, therefore, the Knicks really need to get some points at the line to win.

Before all the protocols, the Knicks have also been playing some pretty poor defense. The Knicks are allowing 111.4 points per 100 possessions but have been able to limit teams to a 51.7 percent effective field goal percentage. The reality is, outside of that effective field goal percentage, the Knicks haven’t performed.

New York is only earning 13.4 percent turnovers and is giving up 27.3 percent of offensive rebounds. Teams are getting plenty of second chances against the Knicks. On top of that, the Celtics will also find their way to the line at a very high rate and should get there against a Knicks team that is below average in defensive free throw rate.

Expert Prediction

At this point, I think both defenses are being rewarded too much in this game. The Celtics and Knicks should be able to get plenty of points from the line and with both teams shorthanded, the over just seems like a better play.

G-League players might get into the game and fatigue could start to hurt some of the current starters right now on the defensive end.

I’ll grab the over 210.5 as my NBA pick for the game between the Celtics and Knicks.

NBA Pick: Over 210.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 210.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.