The Denver Nuggets welcome the Boston Celtics to Ball Arena in a cross-conference matchup on Sunday afternoon. Denver is arguably the hottest team in the NBA, winning eight in a row and 17 of its last 20 games. Boston has also won four of its last five, nudging above the .500 mark for the season. Evan Fournier (protocols) will miss Sunday's contest for the Celtics. Jamal Murray (knee) is listed as questionable for Denver, with Jaylen Brown (knee) and Jayson Tatum (illness) listed as questionable for Boston.
Tip-off is at 3 p.m. ET in Denver. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Nuggets as seven-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 221.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Nuggets odds. Before you make any Nuggets vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned almost $8,900 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 16 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 93-59 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Celtics vs. Nuggets spread: Nuggets -7
- Celtics vs. Nuggets over-under: 221.5 points
- Celtics vs. Nuggets money line: Nuggets -275, Celtics +235
- BOS: The Celtics are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston is a strong offensive team, headlined by the dynamic duo of Tatum and Brown. Tatum scored 53 points in Boston's win over Minnesota on Friday, and he is averaging 25.7 points per game. Brown adds 24.3 points per game with 39.9 percent shooting from 3-point range, and the Celtics are scoring 113.3 points per 100 possessions this season. As a team, Boston is excellent from long range, connecting on 37.7 percent of shots from beyond the arc, and the Celtics are No. 3 in the NBA in offensive rebound rate (29.3 percent).
On the defensive side, Boston is No. 7 in the league in assists allowed, giving up only 23.5 per game, and the Celtics are above-average in both steals (8.0 per game) and blocks (5.2 per game). Denver's offense is dynamic, but the Nuggets are just 29th in the NBA in free throw creation, and the Celtics should be able to keep the Nuggets away from the charity stripe.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is playing at an extremely high level in recent days, and Nikola Jokic is the biggest reason. The All-Star center is a legitimate MVP candidate this season, averaging 26.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game. Jokic is flanked by intriguing scorers in Murray and Michael Porter Jr., and Denver is one of the five best offensive teams in the NBA. Boston is a solid defensive team, but the Celtics are unremarkable on that end of the floor, and the Celtics don't have an individual player that projects to slow Jokic.
The Celtics are also a bottom-10 team in the NBA in both free throw creation offensively and free throw prevention defensively. The Nuggets aren't an elite defensive team, but they are tied for sixth in the NBA in averaging 8.1 steals per game. Boston is also a poor passing team, generating just 23.3 assists per game in 2020-21.
How to make Nuggets vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 220 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 93-59 roll on NBA picks.