The Phoenix Suns will continue their push to avoid the play-in tournament when they face the team with the best NBA record in the Boston Celtics on Thursday. Phoenix (38-27) currently owns the No. 7 seed in the West, so if the season ended today, the Suns would need to survive the play-in tournament in order to reach the playoffs. Meanwhile, Boston (51-14) has a considerable 5.5-game edge over Denver for the best record in the NBA and is well on its way toward clinching the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) is out for Boston, with Jaylen Brown (hip) listed as questionable. Eric Gordon (knee) is questionable for Phoenix.

Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston. The Celtics are 5.5-point favorites in the latest Suns vs. Celtics odds, per SportsLine consensus, while the Over/Under for total points scored is 225.5. Before making any Celtics vs. Suns picks or NBA predictions, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's proven model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 21 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 70-46 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning nearly $2,200. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Suns. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several NBA betting lines and trends for Suns vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Suns spread: Boston -5.5
  • Celtics vs. Suns over/under: 225.5 points
  • Celtics vs. Suns money line: Boston -216, Phoenix +178
  • BOS: Celtics lead the NBA in offensive efficiency (121.7 points per 100 possessions)
  • PHX: Kevin Durant ranks fourth in the league in scoring (28.5 points per game)
  • Celtics vs. Suns picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Celtics can cover

Boston has been nearly unbeatable at home this season. The Celtics are 29-3 at TD Garden this season, which is the best home record in the league. The Nuggets are second, at 27-6. Boston has won its last seven home games and hasn't lost at TD Garden since Feb. 1.

In addition, the Celtics enter Thursday's game knowing they handled the Suns less than a week ago. On March 9 in Phoenix, Jayson Tatum (29 points) was one of six Celtics in double figures, while he also contributed 10 rebounds and seven assists. For the game, the Celtics' bench outscored the Suns' 27-16. See whom to back at SportsLine

Why the Suns can cover

Phoenix has one of the greatest scorers in league history in Durant. The two-time NBA Finals MVP has scored 28,544 career points, which ranks ninth on the league's all-time scoring list. He needs 53 points to surpass Shaquille O'Neal for the No. 8 spot. This season Durant ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring (28.5 points per game).

In addition, Grayson Allen is having a career year for the Suns. Acquired in last summer's blockbuster, three-team trade, Allen is averaging a career-high 13.0 points per game. He also leads all NBA players in 3-point percentage (47.4). See whom to back at SportsLine

How to make Celtics vs. Suns picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 226 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time. You can see the picks only at SportsLine

So who wins Suns vs. Celtics, and which side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Suns spread you need to jump on, all from the model on a 70-46 roll on top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.