Warriors vs. Celtics Preview: Expect Both Defenses to Shine

Action Network NBA betting analyst Austin Wang previews how to bet Friday's matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.

Warriors vs. Celtics Odds

Warriors Odds -3.5
Celtics Odds +3.5
Over/Under 214.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Stephen Curry finally did it — 2,977 3-pointers and counting.

On Tuesday night, he surpassed Ray Allen for the most 3-pointers made in the NBA at Madison Square Garden, the mecca of basketball. You really can’t paint a better picture of this historic night.

Now that the dust has settled, the Golden State Warriors will be on the fourth game on a five-game road trip. They will also be on the first game of a back-to-back set after just completing a back-to-back series. Will this be a let-down spot for the Warriors?

The Boston Celtics are on their own first game of a back-to-back set, but they are only playing their second game in seven nights. They have a significant rest advantage against the road-weary Warriors. Can they pull off an upset as home underdogs?

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Warriors Offense Quietly Slumping

The Warriors currently hit 20-7-1 (77.8%) to the under, per Bet Labs, the best rate of any team in the NBA. Their defense has shined as they rank first in Defensive Rating (100.2), per NBA Advanced Stats.

Their offense has hit a snag as of late — they are 20th in Offensive Rating in their last five games. Perhaps there were nerves with Curry trying to break the 3-point record, but the fact is there is not much support on offense outside of him. They are eagerly awaiting Klay Thompson’s return, but until then, the Warriors will rely on Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole to generate offense.

I can see Curry potentially taking a game off after his historic night. If not, I still anticipate him having him a let-down spot against a Celtics team that is ranks in top 10 defensively. If Curry plays, expect Marcus Smart to hound him all night.

Nonetheless, the Warriors are still on a long road trip and could be suffering from some fatigue from the uptick in travel.

Can the Celtics Grind Out the Game?

Jaylen Brown is back in the lineup after a five-game hiatus. He returned last game and played 30 minutes in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He did fine in his return, scoring 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The Celtics are in the midst of a tough homestand. They just faced the Bucks in a tough matchup and will be on the first game of back-to-back set. They will be facing the Knicks on Saturday, followed by the 76ers, Cavaliers and the Bucks once again. I see a bit of a let-down spot for them as they have upcoming games against some tough Eastern Conference rivals.

I expect they would want to conserve their energy and play a slow-paced game, especially bringing Brown back into the fold. Both Al Horford and Robert Williams are healthy and are great defenders to help match up with the stifling Warriors’ defense. Overall, the Celtics rank 10th in Defensive Rating in the league, per NBA Advanced Stats.

Warriors-Celtics Pick

Matchups between these two teams have gone 15-3 to the under since the 2012-13 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog. The Warriors have gone under in 11 straight road games.

I think the market continues to shade too much to the over for a team they are expecting to score in bunches. Instead, the Warriors’ defense continues to shine and with the probability that Curry may sit, I think that the current market total of 214.5 is high. In addition, I think the Celtics may also have a let-down spot as they look forward to some key divisional and conference games.

My recommendation is to play the under of 214.5. I make this total at 211 and would play this down to 212.

Pick: Under 214.5 (down to 212)