NBA Betting Picks: New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Thursday, 1/24/13, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Boston PK
Current Betting Line:  New York -1
Opening Total:  188
Current Total:  188.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Boston Celtics will be led offensively by PG Rajon Rondo Thursday night
The Boston Celtics will be led offensively by PG Rajon Rondo Thursday night

New York will look to bounce back from a disappointing 88-85 loss to the Brooklyn Nets as 3.5-point home favorites last time out, while going UNDER the total for the fourth time in five contests.  The Knicks are hoping that star forward Carmelo Anthony can break out of his recent shooting slump, as he’s knocked down just 36.6 percent of his attempts from the floor over his last five games.  He is averaging 29.2 points in 37.5 minutes of action this season.  New York is 5-7 ATS as a road favorite of three points or less over the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 8-4 in that situation.

The Knicks are 11-8 overall on the road, including a 7-3 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  New York hasn’t won a season series against Boston since the 2003-04 campaign, as it also looks to snap an 11-game losing streak on the road in this rivalry.  Anthony is averaging 31.6 points over his last 10 games, which is second in the league to Kevin Durant in that span (33.4).

Boston has lost four games in a row, including getting swept in its recent two-game road trip, including a 95-90 setback to the Cleveland Cavaliers as five-point favorites.  “We’ve just got to be better, period,” stated Celtics center Kevin Garnett.  The 17-year veteran is second on the team in averaging 14.7 points, trailing only Paul Pierce in that category.  The Celtics are 13-8 at the TD Garden during the 2012-13 NBA regular season, including a 6-5 mark versus conference foes.  Boston is 6-6 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less the last two-plus seasons, something to consider when making your NBA picks against the spread Thursday night.

The Celtics captured a 102-96 decision over the Knicks as 7.5-point road underdogs in the first meeting, while that particular affair went OVER the posted total of 191.5.  Boston won that affair without the services of point guard Rajon Rondo, who was serving a one-game suspension, which should provide the squad a lift.  He has averaged 19.3 points and 13.1 assists in his last seven games in this series.

Sports bettors will likely back the Celtics in this affair due to their 5-2 ATS mark in the last seven meetings.

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