New Orleans Pelicans (22-20) at Boston Celtics (34-10)
The five-game winning streak came crashing to a halt yesterday. We backed the Miami Heat against the Chicago Bulls and came up short. All situational factors pointed to the Bulls winning. They were at home, they were the more rested team with the Heat playing back to backs, and they were forcing Miami to play a day game after a night game. I just thought that the Heat’s long winning streak would keep them hyped up and giving a full effort, I was wrong.
They came out flat in the first quarter and were never able to fully recover. It goes to show you, no matter what two teams are playing those tired legs can slow anyone down when playing back to backs. Today I will look to get back on another winning streak when I break down the matchup between the Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The New Orleans Pelicans will travel to the Boston Garden Tuesday night to play the Celtics. The Pelicans have feasted on a soft patch in the schedule and have won four of their last six games. The Celtics enjoyed a nice vacation as they traveled to London, England to beat up on the Philadelphia 76ers and have enjoyed a nice stretch of rest as they have played just one game in the last ten days. The Celtics are -5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 215 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM PST from the TD Garden in Boston.
The NBA doesn’t give out midseason breaks like this very often. I know the Celtics had some significant travel time involved when they had to travel across the pond to play against Philly on the 11th, but one game in ten days is an almost unheard of stretch of rest in today’s modern NBA. And that one game wasn’t too much of a test either as the Celtics won easily, after falling down early to the Sixers. Will the Celtics come out rusty after such a long layoff or rested and fired up?
The New Orleans Pelicans have enjoyed a nice soft spot in the schedule as well and have used it to propel themselves up the standings in the Western Conference. The Pels have recent wins over Utah, New York, Detroit, and Portland, all teams that are struggling to stay relevant. It hasn’t been a great stretch of competition, but in the NBA all wins count the same.
New Orleans needed to take care if business and they have. It looks like the Pelicans are in a safe place, currently occupying the six seed out west, but they are only a half a game up on the nine-hole and missing the playoffs. There is no room for error down the stretch for the Pelicans.
The Pelicans are barely holding on right now. The Brow, Anthony Davis, is doing everything he can to help out. Davis went wild in his last game against the Knicks, dropping an absurd line of 48 points and 17 boards. They will need Davis to keep up the intensity tonight in Boston, if they have any chance to steal a win on the road.
If you read my daily picks, you know I love fading the Boston Celtics at home. They are the best home team in the league and consistently cover the spread on their home court. And I am not the only one that likes them at home today. This line opened up at Boston -4.5-points and the sharps jumped on it and quickly pushed it to -5. I wouldn’t be shocked to see this number continue to move as the Celtics tend to attract a lot of action.
I like the Celtics in this one, a lot. I would probably like it if it went as high as say, seven points. Luckily, I noticed the bad early number and jumped on it. It still has tons of value now at -5 points and if you like it, which you should, you should take it now before the betting public shifts it even further.
Boston should come in very rested and ready to get back on the court and play in front of their home crowd. I am a tiny bit worried about rust but to be honest I would be a lot more worried if they were over-worked instead of under-worked so it won’t scare me away from backing them. Give me the Boston Celtics tonight at home, laying -5-points.