Pro Basketball Predictions: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
Sunday, 3/31/13, 7:30 PM EST, TV:  MSG
Opening Point Spread:  New York -6
Current Betting Line:  New York -6
Opening Total:  195
Current Total:  196.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The New York Knicks haven't won a season series against the Boston Celtics since the 2003-04 campaign
The New York Knicks haven’t won a season series against the Boston Celtics since the 2003-04 campaign

Boston has won back-to-back games, including a 118-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks as 2.5-point home favorites last Friday, while going OVER the posted total of 193.5.  The Celtics have been battling numerous injuries, but Jeff Green has certainly provided a spark, averaging 22.0 points in six starts since center Kevin Garnett originally got hurt in mid-March.  “It has to come from everybody,” commented Celtics forward Paul Pierce.  He is leading the team in averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists.  Boston is 0-4 ATS on the road when the total is between 195 and 199.5, with the UNDER going 4-1 in that situation.

The Celtics are 13-23 overall away from the TD Garden this season, including an even 11-11 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.  The road team has won all three meetings between these rivals during the 2012-13 NBA season, with Boston picking up a 102-96 victory as 7.5-point underdogs on Jan. 7 in its last trip to Madison Square Garden.

New York has won seven games in a row, including a 111-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats as 14-point home favorites last Friday, while going OVER the posted total for the fifth time in six contests.  The Knicks will need a big performance out of leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, as their last four wins in the series has seen him average 32.3 points, while their last three losses he’s been held to 23.7 on 34.4 percent shooting.  The former Syracuse star is averaging 27.6 points per game on the season.  New York is 5-5 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points, with the UNDER going 6-4 in those opportunities.

The Knicks are 26-10 overall at home this season, including a 15-6 mark versus conference rivals.  New York hasn’t won a season series versus Boston since the 2003-04 campaign, which is important to consider when making your NBA picks against the spread Sunday.  Look for Anthony to get off to a strong start, as he leads the NBA in averaging 8.8 points in the opening 12 minutes.

Sports bettors will likely back the Knicks due to their 7-1 ATS mark in their last eight games, while the Celtics are 12-23 ATS when revenging a home loss versus an opponent since the 2010-11 campaign.

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