Mavericks vs. Celtics Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Celtics are a 9-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 202 points.
Dallas comes in with a 7-17 overall record after a 122-105 home victory over the Nuggets. Boston is 21-4 overall and 19-5-1 ATS following a 111-100 home win over the Bucks, its third consecutive victory. The Celtics used overtime to cover the 6-5-point favorite spread in the first meeting this season at Dallas, winning 110-102 in the extra session on Nov. 20. Boston is 3-0 straight up and 3-0 ATS in three meetings since the start of last season. The total has gone 1-1-1.
The Mavericks were led by Harrison Barnes with 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the win over the Nuggets. Dennis Smith Jr. tallied 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. Yogi Ferrell contributed 16 points and two boards off the bench. Dallas established a 39-23 lead through one quarter.
Kyrie Irving poured in 32 points to go with four rebounds and two steals in the win over Milwaukee. Al Horford accounted for 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Jayson Tatum added 17 points and six rebounds. Boston led 62-49 at halftime.
Dallas is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings in Boston. The over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
Boston has played some of the best perimeter defense in the NBA, a huge reason why it boasts the league's best record. Don't get fooled by Dallas scoring 122 on a beat up Denver squad at home. The Mavericks are still a team that plays a slow pace, like the Celtics, but isn't nearly as efficient. Expect Boston to get a fairly comfortable lead and use its strong defense to coast to the win, keeping the total under its projection.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MAVERICKS/CELTICS UNDER 202