NBA Playoff Picks: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
Saturday, 4/20/13, 3:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  New York -7
Current Betting Line:  New York -7
Opening Total:  193.5
Current Total:  189
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Celtics Heat NBA Playoff Game 3 Preview
The Boston Celtics are dangerous road underdogs in Game 1 against the New York Knicks Saturday

Boston finished with a 41-40 overall record during the 2012-13 NBA regular season, as it didn’t get to play its home finale due to recent events surrounding the Patriots Day’ bombings.  “I think when you go through tragedy as a city you kind of look for something to cling on to,” commented Celtics forward Paul Pierce.  “We’re going to go out there and do the best we can in wake of the tragedy.”  The team did drop three of four series meetings this year.  Boston is 3-7 SU and 5-5 ATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points this season, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread.

The Celtics were 14-27 away from the TD Garden, but went 12-14 versus Eastern Conference opponents.  Pierce leads a group of three starters that average in double figures, as he enters scoring 18.6 points and grabbing 6.3 rebounds per game.  Boston was outscored 98.3 to 90.5 on average in the four meetings this season, as it shot 45.4 percent from the field overall, but just 27.2 from beyond the arc.

New York enters the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the league, as it captured its sixth Atlantic Division title in franchise history and first since the 1993-94 season.  The Knicks secured the No. 2 seed in the East, which means it wouldn’t potentially meet the Miami Heat until the conference finals.  “That was our goal to lock down home court and we did that,” commented Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.  He finished as the NBA’s leading scorer, averaging 28.7 points per game.  New York is 10-3 SU and 8-5 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points, which is important to consider when looking over the pro basketball odds page.

The Knicks were 31-10 at Madison Square Garden this year, including a 20-6 mark versus conference rivals.  Anthony will certainly try to get off to a hot start in Game 1, considering he led all players in averaging 9.0 points in the first quarter.  Reserve J.R. Smith is another man to watch on the perimeter, as he ranked first among all players coming off the bench in scoring 18.1 points per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Celtics due to their 12-5 ATS mark versus teams with a winning record.

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