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Celtics favored on the road over woeful Suns

Celtics vs Suns Betting Odds

The Boston Celtics look to put an end to their first losing slide of the season as they continue their season-long five-game road swing by paying a visit to Talking Stick Resort Arena to take on the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics swept last year’s two-game season series vs the Suns and are a 9.5-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 211 points.

Shark Bites
  • The Celtics are 6-1 SU in their last seven games vs the Suns.
  • The total has gone UNDER in the Suns’ last four games at home (avg. combined score: 200.75).
  • The Celtics are 0-9 ATS in their last nine games as a favorite of 9.0 or more.

Celtics vs Suns Game Center

Boston’s defense is carrying the team

The Celtics have dropped the first two games of their road swing, falling to Indiana on Saturday (102-101) and Denver on Monday (115-107). As you can see from those two games, the offense is scuffling and it has only topped 110 points once this season, dropping 117 against Milwaukee at the start of this month. The Celtics are averaging just 104.2 points per game this season, which is the fifth-lowest mark in the league. That’s a reflection of their lack of efficiency from the field as they are sinking just 43 percent of their shots, fourth-worst in the NBA.

Boston has been surviving on its strong defense, which is allowing opponents to score just 101.3 points per game, the third-best mark in the Association. The Celts play an in-your-face style of defense that ranks in the middle of the league in shot attempts surrendered, but they are tough attempts with just 42.2 percent of those shots landing, which is the second-fewest in the NBA. They also yield the lowest three-point shooting percentage in the league.

Phoenix struggling on both sides of the ball

It has been an uphill battle for the Suns this season, picking up just two wins through their first 10 contests, with an average losing margin of 15.5. They have had issues handling the ball, which has led to limited offensive opportunities. They average 18.9 turnovers per game, which is the second-most in the league, while also taking the second-fewest shots per game at 81.8. This is not a recipe for success and that is evident as they score the fewest points per game in the Association at just 100.6, not a good outlook against a defense that surrenders the third-fewest points per game.

Defensively, Phoenix is doing a good job limiting shot attempts, but the shots it is allowing are high-percentage shots. The Suns are giving up the seventh-fewest shots from the floor per game at 85.7 but their opponents are hitting 50.1 percent of those shots, a direct correlation to them giving up 56.8 points in the paint per game, the most in the NBA. Although it is hard to find many positive things to talk about, their defense of the perimeter is impressive, allowing the second-fewest three-pointers against per game and the third-lowest three-point shooting percentage at 31.8.

UNDER trending in tonight’s game

We have a top defense going against a bottom-ranked offense and Bovada has the total opening at 211 points. The Suns have scored fewer than 100 points in half of their games this season and they have gone UNDER in four straight games. Meanwhile, the Celtics have gone UNDER in six of their 10 games this year with an average combined score of 206.1. Lastly, 37.1 percent of Boston’s points come from behind the arc and that is the one area that Phoenix has done a good job defending, which could thwart the Celtics’ attack.

My Take on Boston vs Phoenix

I like the UNDER 211 points in tonight’s game. Phoenix is going to be held to under 100 points and Boston’s offense hasn’t shown enough this season to carry it to the OVER for tonight’s game. Meanwhile, the Celtics’ main offensive weapon is the three-pointer and the Suns defend the perimeter very well, allowing the second-fewest treys per game and the third-lowest three-point percentage. Lastly, the biggest weakness in the Suns’ defense is around the rim, surrendering the most points in the paint per game in the league, but the Celtics score the fewest points in the paint at 36.8.