The Boston Celtics host the Phoenix Suns in an afternoon tilt on New Year's Eve at TD Garden. The Celtics are 9-7 at home this season, though Boston is just 16-19 overall. Phoenix is off to a blazing 27-7 start that includes an impressive 11-3 record in road games. Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, JaVale McGee and Abdel Nader (health and safety protocols) are out for Phoenix while Jayson Tatum, Dennis Schroder, Aaron Nesmith and Enes Freedom (protocols) are out for Boston.
Phoenix is listed as a 3.5-point favorite on the road, and tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the Over-Under, is 216.5 in the latest odds. Before you make any NBA predictions with the Suns vs. Celtics match-up, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three-plus seasons. The model enters Week 11 of the 2021-22 NBA season on a stunning 48-24 roll on all top-rated NBA picks, returning almost $2,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Suns vs. Celtics, and just revealed its picks and NBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting lines for Celtics vs. Suns:
- Suns vs. Celtics spread: Suns -3.5
- Suns vs. Celtics over-under: 216.5 points
- Suns vs. Celtics money line: PHO -160, BOS +140
- Phoenix: The Suns are 8-6 against the spread in road games
- Boston: The Celtics are 7-8-1 against the spread in home games
Why the Suns can cover
Phoenix's offense is very strong, scoring more than 1.1 points per possession, and the Suns are in a favorable position as a result. However, the Suns are even better on defense, and Boston's offense has struggled in key areas this season. Phoenix is No. 3 in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing fewer than 1.04 points per possession, and the Suns are holding opponents to 43.5 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from three-point range. Phoenix is also in the top five in steals (8.6 per game) and assists allowed (22.2 per game), and the Suns are above-average in preventing free throw attempts, allowing only 20.0 per game.
Boston's offense ranks in the bottom 10 of the NBA in overall efficiency, and the Celtics are No. 23 in the NBA in assists. The Celtics are also just No. 24 in three-point accuracy and No. 23 in field goal accuracy in 2021-22.
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston's defense could benefit from a few shortcomings of the Suns. Phoenix is only No. 27 in the NBA in offensive rebound rate and No. 25 in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. From there, the Celtics are in the top ten in allowing 107.5 points per 100 possessions, and Boston ranks in the top six of the league in assists allowed (21.8 per game) and blocked shots (5.6 per game).
Boston is very good on the defensive glass, securing more than 73 percent of available rebounds, and the Celtics create more than 14 turnovers per game. Opponents are shooting just 44.2 percent from the floor, and Boston is giving up only 42.9 points per game in the paint and 12.3 second-chance points per game. Boston's offense is in the top five in free throw attempt rate and free throw accuracy, with above-average ball security that should help in maintaining an edge in the possession battle.
How to make Suns vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with just two players projected to score more than 17 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can only get the model's Celtics vs. Suns picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Suns vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Suns vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.