Boston Celtics vs. New Orleans Hornets
The Boston Celtics are 1-point road favorites over the New Orleans Hornets this evening.Â The over/under for the game is set at 179.Â The Celtics have struggled on the road lately and in the second half of back-to-back situations all year.
Boston is 48-18 overall and 33-33 against the spread.Â They are trying to adapt on the fly with a changing roster due to a big trade, injuries and free agent pickups.Â Boston is a decent 7-4, but only 4-7 against the spread the deadline deal than sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. That was a strange move for GM Danny Ainge as Perkins was a popular player and a very good post defender, always needed in the playoffs. The situation is made worse by centers Shaquille and Jermaine ONeal both out with injuries. Shaq traveled with the team for this three-game trip, but likely wont play. Krstic is the only real center playing now. The Celtics have won their last two games at home over Indiana 92-80 and Milwaukee 87-56, covering the spread as 10 and eight-point favorites respectively. The Indiana game was on Wednesday and the 172 combined points scored went way der the 195-point total.Â The der is 4-0 in Bostons last four games with the offense stagnating at 86 points per game, 11 points lower than its season average. Boston lost its last two road contests at New Jersey 88-79 and Philadelphia 89-86 and is 0-3 against the spread in its last three away games.
The New Orleans Hornets are 40-30 overall and 35-35 against the spread.Â They are finishing up a five-game homestand thats started 3-1. The Hornets are 27th in the league in scoring with 94.4 points per game.Â Their defense has been sting all year giving up 93 points per game, which ranks them fourth in the NBA.Â The Hornets rely heavily on the starting lineup with all five guys in double-digits. Power forward David West leads the team with 18.5 points per game.
These teams met in Boston back on New Years Eve, with the Hornets winning 83-81 as 4-point underdogs. The der is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the teams.Â I am sticking with that trend to bring me another winner. My play for the game is der 179