Boston Celtics (44-17) at New York Knicks (35-27)
Game Info: Monday, February 27, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. EST (Madison Square Garden)
Betting Odds: Celtics (-3) / Over/Under (223.5)
Pick: Knicks (ML)
Monday night brings us a tantalizing Eastern Conference matchup when the scorching Boston Celtics make their way into Madison Square Garden to match up against the ever-so-talented New York Knicks.
Boston has been as good as any team in the league for the entire season, currently positioned at the top of the East by a mere 1 game. Over their last 8 games, they have won and covered 7 out of 8 of those games, dominating on both sides of the ball night in and night out. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the captains of the ship that keeps them going, but their ability to get key contributions from Derrick White, Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Malcolm Brogdon when they need it most is the reason why this team has little to no flaws on the roster. Every Championship contender has their fair share of superstars, but without consistent gritty play from other players on the roster, winning in the Playoffs is uber difficult. Coming off of a road win in an epic clash with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, we shall see if Boston can continue on their torrid run come Monday in the raucous Madison Square Garden.
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New York is quietly becoming a sleeper team to look out for in the East. Presently, they have won and covered in their last 4 games by a whopping 67 points. As they welcome Boston into their home arena, Head Coach Tom Thibodeau will get an immense gauge of how his team matchups up with the best in the league. As I have preached since his arrival, Josh Hart will certainly have his hands full in this one, as he will surely be tasked with guarding either Tatum or Brown for large parts of the game. Furthermore, with the injury of Mitchell Robinson subsiding just in the right time for the last quarter of the season, New York is beginning to get healthy in all of the right areas as they look to continue their rise up the Eastern Conference. Coming in with the 7th-ranked Offensive Rating in the Association, the ever-so-improving Knicks offense will look to hurt the vaunted Celtics defense in any way they can come tip-off if they want to secure one of the best wins of their campaign.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- New York is 4-0 SU and ATS in their last 4 games
- The Knicks are 22-16-2 ATS in Conference games
- The under has hit in 19 out of 29 games that the Celtics have played on the road
The Celtics genuinely don't have a weakness in their squad. Despite this, I am enamored with how well the Knicks have played of late as they continue to get healthy and slot their new additions into their rotation. It will be one of their biggest tests of the year up until now, but I am going to play the Knicks straight up here, as I sense them coming out firing in front of an energized crowd in New York.
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