Thursday, January 27, 2022

Suns vs. Celtics prediction, odds, spread, line: 2021 NBA picks, Dec. 31 best bets from model on 48-24 run

The NBA tips off a full slate of New Year’s Eve games with a matinee tilt at TD Garden. The Boston Celtics welcome the Phoenix Suns to town for a cross-conference battle between playoff hopefuls. Boston is 16-19 overall and 9-7 at home, with Phoenix bringing a 27-7 record and a stellar 11-3 mark on the road. Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schroder and Enes Freedom are out for Boston due to health and safety protocols, while Deandre Ayton, Jae CrowderJaVale McGee and Abdel Nader are out for the Suns due to protocols.

Tip-off is at 1 p.m. ET in Boston. The Suns are listed as 4.5-point road favorites, while the Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 215 in the latest Suns vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Suns vs. Celtics picks and NBA predictions, you need to see what SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three-plus seasons. The model enters Week 11 of the 2021-22 NBA season on a stunning 48-24 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning almost $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Suns vs. Celtics, and just revealed its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Suns:

  • Suns vs. Celtics spread: Suns -4.5
  • Suns vs. Celtics over-under: 215 points
  • Suns vs. Celtics money line: PHO -200, BOS +170
  • Phoenix: The Suns are 8-6 against the spread in road games
  • Boston: The Celtics are 7-8-1 against the spread in home games

Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns

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Why the Suns can cover

Phoenix is very good on both ends of the floor. The Suns are scoring 110.8 points per possessions on offense, shooting 47.6 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from three-point range. Phoenix is also averaging 26.1 assists per game, No. 4 in the NBA, and the Suns are above-average in assist rate (61.5 percent), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.87), turnover rate (13.8 percent) and points in the paint (48.4 per game). 

The Suns are also holding opponents to only 103.6 points per 100 possessions, and opponents are shooting just 43.5 percent against Phoenix. The Suns are in the top five of the NBA in three-point defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 32.9 percent, and opponents average only 22.2 assists per game against Phoenix. Boston’s offense is struggling a bit this season, and the Suns are also in the top ten in free throw prevention, allowing only 20.0 attempts per game.

Why the Celtics can cover

Boston’s defense could benefit from a few shortcomings of the Suns. Phoenix is only No. 27 in the NBA in offensive rebound rate and No. 25 in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. From there, the Celtics are in the top ten in allowing 107.5 points per 100 possessions, and Boston ranks in the top six of the league in assists allowed (21.8 per game) and blocked shots (5.6 per game). 

Boston is very good on the defensive glass, securing more than 73 percent of available rebounds, and the Celtics create more than 14 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting just 44.2 percent from the floor, and Boston is giving up only 42.9 points per game in the paint and 12.3 second-chance points per game. Boston’s offense is in the top five in free throw attempt rate and free throw accuracy, with above-average ball security that should help in maintaining an edge in the possession battle.

How to make Suns vs. Celtics picks

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