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The NBA is missing a real opportunity by only scheduling two games for Super Bowl Sunday. One is a complete dud (Pistons-Raptors) but the other is a banger. The Boston Celtics (40-16) host the Memphis Grizzlies (34-21) at TD Garden for a 2 p.m. ET tip-off.
Both teams are missing key players. Boston will be without All-Star wing Jaylen Brown and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, PG Marcus Smart while starting big Steven Adams is sidelined for Memphis.
The Celtics beat the Grizzlies 109-106 in Memphis in their 1st meeting this season on Nov. 7. Boston was much healthier at the time, only missing C Robert Williams III. Whereas Memphis was without both starting bigs: Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Grizzlies have won back-to-back (B2B) home games vs. the Bulls and Timberwolves. But, Memphis lost seven of their previous eight before their B2B wins and are 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games.
The Celtics have won five of their last six games — 4-2 against the spread (ATS) — including three straight over the Pistons, 76ers and Hornets.
Grizzlies-Celtics Betting Board (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Grizzlies (+140), Celtics (-165)
- Against the spread (ATS): Grizzlies +3.5 (-110), Celtics -3.5 (-110)
- Total — 227 — Over: -105, UNDER: -115
I’m looking at the UNDER 227.5 (-110) in Grizzlies-Celtics because of the line movement headed south of the total and their injuries will impact the offenses more than the defenses.
According to VSIN, more than 70% of the bets at DraftKings is on the Over. However, the Grizzlies-Celtics opened with a 230-point total so the oddsmakers are taking sharp money on the Under.
Also, Pinnacle Sportsbook (Pinny) has the Grizzlies-Celtics total priced at 226.5 (-105 on both sides). That is relevant because Pinny is considered one of the sharpest oddsmakers because it books the largest sports bets.
Even though Smart is a menace defensively, Boston’s defense is better without him on the floor this season. Per CleaningTheGlass.com, Celtics allow 4.3 fewer points per 100 possessions when backup PG Derrick White is in the game.
When Smart is in the game, Boston gives up 1.7 more points per 100 possessions. Brown has a +1.4 adjusted on/off defensive rating, which ranks in the 42% of wings in the NBA.
Furthermore, Adams might not score a lot of points but he’s one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA. Without Adams on the floor, Memphis scores 8.2 less points per 100 possessions and grabs 9.8% fewer offensive rebounds.
The Grizzlies have one of the worst half-court offenses in the NBA and both teams have a top-10 defensive rating. Memphis is 2-8 Over/Under (O/U) in the last 10 games, Boston is 1-3 O/U in the last four games and the Celtics-Grizzlies are a combined 4-6 O/U in day games.
BET: UNDER 227.5 in Grizzlies-Celtics (-110), down to 226
You can listen to the audio versions of these handicaps on my NBA Hoops At Lunch show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed Monday-Friday.
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