The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks begin their 2021-22 journeys on Wednesday evening. The Knicks host the Celtics at Madison Square Garden, with high expectations on both sides. New York was the No. 4 seed in the East last season, finishing at 41-31 before losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. Boston scuffled to a 36-36 record, but the Celtics upgraded their roster in the offseason.
Tip-off from Madison Square Garden is at 7:30 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Knicks as 1.5-point favorites at home, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 216.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Knicks odds. Before you make any Knicks vs. Celtics picks, you need to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned almost $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three seasons. The model finished up almost $600 on its top-rated picks last season and enters the 2021-22 NBA season on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Knicks and just released its coveted NBA picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Knicks vs. Celtics:
- Celtics vs. Knicks spread: Knicks -1.5
- Celtics vs. Knicks over-under: 216.5 points
- Celtics vs. Knicks money line: Knicks -125, Celtics +105
- BOS: The Celtics are 16-23 against the spread in the last 39 road games
- NYK: The Knicks are 24-15 against the spread in the last 39 home games
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston is keyed by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, with both young forwards excelling last season. Tatum averaged 26.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, with Brown adding 24.7 points and 6.0 rebounds with quality two-way play. Boston's offense has been overhauled in parting ways with Kemba Walker, but the Celtics were devastating on the offensive glass a year ago, grabbing 28.9 percent of their own missed shots. Boston was also a top-10 team in 3-point accuracy (37.4 percent), which is key against New York.
Defensively, the Celtics have the potential to be highly effective, ranking in the top-10 of the NBA in fast break points allowed (11.8 per game), two-point shooting allowed (52.4 percent) and assists allowed (24.1 per game) last season. Boston is also elite at preventing points in the paint, giving up only 44.3 per game last season, and New York's offense is a question mark. The Knicks were a bottom-10 offense last season, ranking No. 29 in the NBA in two-point shooting (49 percent) and No. 29 in the league in assists (21.4 per game).
Why the Knicks can cover
After relying heavily on a top-tier defense a year ago, the Knicks should be improved on offense in 2021-22. Julius Randle keys the offense overall, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game last season. The Knicks converted 39.2 percent of their 3-point attempts, No. 3 in the NBA, and upgrades were made on the perimeter. Walker and Evan Fournier join forces with Randle, Derrick Rose and others, and one of Boston's biggest weaknesses is 3-point defense (37.4 percent allowed).
The Celtics were also a bottom-tier group in a few offensive categories that could open the door for New York. Boston was a strongly below-average team in free throw creation and prevention, with a notable mark of only 46.6 percent from the floor. The Celtics also may struggle in point of attack creation, with the team averaging 23.5 assists per game (25th in the NBA) last season and now operating without Walker.
How to make Celtics vs. Knicks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting 213 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the model's Knicks vs. Celtics picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Celtics vs. Knicks? And which side of the spread hits over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Celtics vs. Knicks spread you need to jump on Wednesday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.