New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Odds, Picks, Injury Report and Preview

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics odds and game preview for Saturday's game. Oddsmakers give Celtics a 71% chance to exact revenge on the Knicks after loss on Thursday.
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New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Odds, Picks, Injury Report and Preview

On the first day of mobile sports betting in New York, residents of the Empire State have the opportunity to wager on their famous NBA franchise. The New York Knicks are set to square off with the rival Boston Celtics on national TV this evening. This marks the second head-to-head matchup between the two Atlantic Division rivals in a three-day span. Given that they are separated by a single game in the Eastern Conference standings, this matchup looms large for both sides. The NBA betting odds currently list the hosts as fairly large favorites ahead of this Knicks vs. Celtics contest.

Knicks vs. Celtics Odds

New York Knicks (19-20 SU, 18-21 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (18-21 SU, 18-19-2 ATS) Date: Saturday, January 8, 2021 Start Time: 7:30 PM EST Location: TD Garden — Boston, MA TV Coverage: NBA TV

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics odds

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New York Knicks Preview

A win on Christmas Day proved the key ingredient for the Knicks to get their season back on track. After a rough stretch that was partly due to several players being sidelined, New York has now won five of seven. Tom Thibodeau’s group carries an active two-game winning streak into Saturday night’s NBA betting matchup. This includes a three-point win over the Celtics at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. 

The Knicks rank just 21st in offensive efficiency on the season. It took a huge 41-point performance by Evan Fournier just for New York to score 108 points in Thursday’s win. Fournier and Julius Randle combined for 63 of those points, a nod to the Knicks’ lack of scoring depth. Star point guard Kemba Walker will remain sidelined on Saturday with a knee injury. While Walker is a major defensive liability, an attribute that landed him in Thibodeau’s doghouse earlier in the year, he has provided massive offensive contributions when on the floor. 

Boston Celtics Preview

The Celtics squandered an impressive 36-point effort by Jayson Tatum and a seven-point lead after three quarters of play in Thursday night’s loss. It has been a tough week in Boston as Ime Udoka’s squad also dropped a two-point decision at home on Wednesday to a shorthanded San Antonio Spurs outfit. On the bright side, the Celtics will have a mostly full complement of players available as they aim to get back on track in tonight’s NBA betting contest.

Now that the Celtics are finally getting healthy, one has to believe their offensive efficiency rating will improve in the second half of the season. Defense has been Boston’s calling card thus far. The C’s enter Saturday’s matchup ranked eighth in this metric. After being hit hard by health and safety protocols last month, the starting lineup and primary depth pieces are all finally healthy again. Each of Dennis Schroder, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart joined Tatum in double-figures scoring on Thursday night.

Knicks vs. Celtics Injury Report

New York

Out: Kemba Walker (knee), Derrick Rose (knee) Questionable: Nerlens Noel (conditioning) Day-to-Day: Evan Fournier

Boston

Out: Payton Pritchard (virus protocols), Brodric Thomas (back)

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Knicks vs. Celtics Odds and Line Movement

The following list contains the best Knicks vs. Celtics NBA betting odds and lines available in the market.

TeamMoneylineML Implied ProbabilitySpreadTotal
Knicks+25028.6%+7 (-110)O 208.5 (-110)
Celtics-25071.4%-7 (-106)U 208.5 (-110)

The point spread for this Eastern Conference tilt has moved up one full point in favor of the Celtics. Oddsmakers initially opened the line at Boston -6. While some sportsbooks are lingering at -6.5, the vast majority have reached a full seven-point spread.

Meanwhile, the total for this contest has seen a fairly sharp drop relative to opening lines. What was an over/under of 210 has dipped down to a consensus total of 208.5. Some sportsbooks sit one point lower still at 207.5.

Knicks vs. Celtics Betting Picks and Prediction

When it comes to pace of play, neither the Knicks nor the Celtics play particularly fast. Hollinger’s Pace Factor statistic ranks Boston 18th in the NBA and New York 24th. As far as possessions per game, the Celtics are actually right around league-average at 101.9. However, the Knicks average of 99.2 marks the second-fewest possessions per game of any team to date.

While the two teams combined for 213 total points in Thursday’s head-to-head meeting, it’s hard not to prefer the under for tonight’s rematch in Boston. It is highly unlikely that Evan Fournier lights up the scoreboard in the same fashion he did two days ago. As a result, bettors are right to question exactly who else on the Knicks is capable of stepping up offensively. With the Celtics looking to snap a two-game skid, the defensive intensity should be elevated at home tonight. Considering that several Las Vegas sportsbooks have already adjusted this total down to 208 or 207.5, there is value to be had in playing under the current statewide consensus of 208.5.

Knicks vs. Celtics NBA Betting Picks: Under 208.5 (-110)

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insight

Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.

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