The Boston Celtics (42-20) will be at home in TD Garden when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (39-24). Action begins at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8, 2020, and it can be seen on NBATV.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics Free Preview
In the Thunder’s last contest, they dismantled the New York Knicks, 126-103, easily covering as 5.5-point favorites. With 21 points and 12 assists, Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul played well. Oklahoma City dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a fantastically low turnover percentage of 3.6 (better than their season average of 11.8) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.552 (above their season average of 0.535). New York was 10.6 and 0.473, respectively, for those same stats. The two teams combined to score 229 points, which was over the O/U total of 216.5.
The Celtics failed to cover as 1.5-point favorites in their 99-94 loss to the Utah Jazz in their last contest. Marcus Smart was the game’s leading scorer with 29 points on 9-for-23 shooting. Utah held the Celtics to an effective field goal percentage of 0.426 (below their season average of 0.531). Boston, on the other hand, forced the Jazz into a turnover percentage of 17.4 (above their season average of 13.2). The two teams combined to put up 193 points, which was well under the O/U total of 218.5.
These two clubs have already met once this season. In that game, the two teams combined for 223 points, just over the projected point total of 219. The Celtics won 112-111, but were unable to cover as 1.5-point favorites. The Celtics dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 30.4 and a superb turnover percentage of 8.6. The Thunder had marks of 23.5 and 9.2, respectively, for those same stats. Despite the loss, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a standout performance with 24 points and six rebounds.
Of Oklahoma City’s 63 games, 32 have finished under the O/U total, while 31 of Boston’s 62 games have finished under the O/U total. Both teams have very similar records straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS). The Thunder are 39-24 SU and 38-24-1 ATS, while the Celtics are 42-20 SU and 37-24-1 ATS.
Oklahoma City might have a tough time creating turnovers. Boston ranks eighth in the NBA at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 12.8 percent), while Oklahoma City forces the 19th-most turnovers (13.2 percent). Also, the Thunder, who rank second in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.231), will face off against the Celtics, who rank 22nd in opponents’ FTA rate (0.212).
Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics ATS Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – Celtics, ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Under
The Celtics rank third in points allowed in the paint per game (43.3) while the Thunder rank 18th (49.0).
Oklahoma City ranks first in steals allowed per game (6.7) while Boston ranks seventh (7.0).
Boston ranks 13th in three pointers attempted per game (34.1) while Oklahoma City ranks 27th (29.4).
Boston is second in the NBA with 22.3 assists allowed per game while Oklahoma City is fifth with 23.1 assists allowed per game.
Boston is 17-14 ATS at home, while Oklahoma City is 22-8 ATS on the road.
The Thunder have 16 unders and 14 overs in 30 road games.
The Celtics have 16 overs, 14 unders and 1 push in 31 home games.
Boston is 12-3 when they allow less than 100 points, while Oklahoma City is 7-3.
When scoring over 100 points, the Thunder are 38-14 and the Celtics are 41-13.
The Celtics rank 16th in second chance points per game (13.2) while the Thunder rank last (10.6).
Boston ranks sixth in fast break points per game (15.4) while Oklahoma City ranks 29th (9.2).
The Thunder rank fourth in blocks allowed per game (4.1) while the Celtics rank 24th (5.5).
The Celtics rank second in points off turnovers allowed per game (14.5) while the Thunder rank eighth (15.7).
Boston ranks ninth in rebounds per game (46.0) while Oklahoma City ranks 25th (42.7).
Boston is 2-3 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in its last five games.
Over its past five games, Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS with 2 overs, 2 unders and 1 push.
The Celtics’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 0.4, down from 6.3 for the season.
During their last five games, the Thunder have scored an average of 106.4 points per game (4.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 112.0 points per game (3.6 above their season average).