Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference face off on Monday night at Madison Square Garden with the Boston Celtics taking on the New York Knicks.
New York has won five straight games dating back to before the All-Star break, moving into a tie with the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 5 spot in the East.
Boston is still the top dog in the conference, but the Milwaukee Bucks have significantly closed that gap by winning 14 straight games.
New York took the last matchup between these teams in overtime in Boston, but it still finds itself as an underdog in this game. That wouldn’t be surprising if the Celtics were at full strength, but Jaylen Brown (personal) won’t suit up tonight for Boston.
The Celtics have been better on the road against the spread (16-14) than the Knicks have been at home (13-16-3), so how should we bet on this game?
Here’s a look at the latest odds and a pick for Monday’s matchup:
Celtics vs. Knicks odds, spread and total
Celtics vs. Knicks prediction and pick
Even though Brown won’t suit up in this matchup, I think Boston comes away with the victory here.
The Knicks have been playing some of their best basketball of the season recently, but they still lack the volume shooting from beyond the arc to compete with a team like Boston on a nightly basis.
The Celtics rank second in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game and sixth in 3-point percentage this season while New York is just 13th and 23rd in those respective categories.
The absence of Brown may seem like a big one, but the Celtics are actually 9-2 when he doesn’t play this season with their only losses coming to Milwaukee (Jayson Tatum also missed that game) and Miami.
The Knicks’ struggles at home have been well-documented this season, and the team has even gone under .500 against the spread as a home dog.
Since this is such a short line, I’ll simply take the Celtics to win outright on Monday night.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.