The Boston Celtics will look to snap out of a cold spell when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday evening. Boston has lost three of its last four games, while the Thunder have been red-hot in winning seven of their last nine contests. The Celtics will be without Jaylen Brown (hamstring) in Sunday's contest, with Gordon Hayward (knee) listed as probable. Oklahoma City is largely healthy, though Darius Bazley (knee) is out.
Tip-off is at 6 p.m. ET at TD Garden. Sportsbooks list the Celtics as four-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 219 in the latest Thunder vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Thunder picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned almost $4,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season. It also entered Week 20 a blistering 49-31 on all top-rated NBA spread picks this season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Thunder vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -4
- Thunder vs. Celtics over-under: 219 points
- Thunder vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -177, Thunder +152
- OKC: The Thunder are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games
- BOS: The Celtics are 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games
Why the Thunder can cover
The model knows that the Thunder are playing lights-out basketball, as evidenced by a 28-10 mark in the last 38 games. Oklahoma City ranks as an above-average team on both ends of the floor, leaning on quality veterans to make things happen. Offensively, the Thunder are a top-10 team in both shooting efficiency and turnover avoidance. Oklahoma City is also No. 3 in the NBA in free throw rate and, against a Celtics team that ranks in the bottom third in keeping opponents away from the charity stripe, the Thunder should have success.
On the flip side, the Thunder are also elite at free throw avoidance defensively, helping to establish the No. 10 overall defense in the NBA. Oklahoma City limits opponents to only 52.5 percent effective field goal percentage, which is an above-average figure for the full season.
Why the Celtics can cover
The model realizes that the Celtics are a tremendous team in terms of balance, with top-five ranking on both offense and defense. The Celtics are very good at home, posting a 23-8 record, and much of that can be traced to their two-way impact. The Celtics rank in the top eight of the NBA in turnover avoidance and offensive rebounding, with an above-average (53.2% eFG) mark in shooting efficiency.
Defensively, the Celtics are tenacious, and that is on display in their turnover creation. The Celtics force a giveaway on nearly 16 percent of possessions, ranking in the top five of the NBA. Boston is also elite in shooting efficiency allowed, and the Thunder will have a hard time generating second-chance opportunities, simply because Oklahoma City ranks as the second-worst team in the league on the offensive glass.
How to make Thunder vs. Celtics picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with Steven Adams and Jayson Tatum projected to exceed their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations.
So who wins Thunder vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Celtics vs. Thunder spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.