The Boston Celtics (15-5) welcome the Denver Nuggets (14-5) to TD Garden as they look to lengthen their eight-game home winning streak. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, December 6, 2019, and will air on ESPN.
Boston is a 3-point favorite on the opening line, while the game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 203 points.
Denver Nuggets vs. Boston Celtics Free Prediction
The Nuggets come in on a high note after thoroughly outplaying the New York Knicks in their last contest, 129-92, as 2.5-point underdogs. The total points for the game (221) were over the projected point total of 207.5. The Nuggets held the Knicks to an offensive rebounding percentage of 11.4 (below their season average of 25.7) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.684 (above their season average of 0.501). Mason Plumlee had a good outing for Denver, recording 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
In the Celtics’ last outing, they won big over the Miami Heat, 112-93, easily covering as 5.5-point favorites. The game’s combined points (205) were under the O/U total of 208.5. The Celtics made 26 of their 32 free throws (81.3 percent), while the Heat had a turnover percentage of 17.4 (above the 13.9 mark opponents have averaged against Boston this season). With 28 points and seven assists, Kemba Walker put together a good outing for Boston.
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, Boston should have a considerable edge. The Celtics defense ranks seventh in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.504), while the Denver offense is ranked 21st in effective field goal percentage (0.510). Furthermore, the Nuggets rank fifth in offensive rebounding percentage (23.7 percent), while the Celtics rank 22nd in defensive rebounding percentage (76.3 percent).
Denver is 14-5 straight up (SU), but they are just 7-9-2 against the spread (ATS). Games involving the Nuggets have a tendency to finish under the total (77.8 percent).
Meanwhile, Boston is 15-5 SU and 12-7-1 ATS. Coinciding with Denver, games including the Celtics also have a tendency to go under the projected point total (60.0 percent).
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. Nikola Jokic put up 18 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in the first matchup, in which the Nuggets defeated the Celtics 96-92 but were not able to cover as 4.5-point favorites. The game finished with a total of 188 points, which was 19 points below the projected point total of 207 points. Denver won the rebounding battle. The Nuggets had 11 offensive rebounds and 48 total rebounds, while the Celtics had five and 40, respectively.
Nuggets at Celtics Free Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Celtics, O/U – Under
Denver is 3-3-1 ATS on the road with 5 unders and 2 overs.
Boston is 5-3 ATS at home with 4 overs and 4 unders.
In contests where they hold opponents below 100 points, Denver is 9-0 and Boston is 4-1.
The Celtics are 14-2 when they score over 100 points, while the Nuggets are 12-3.
Denver averages 47.0 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the league. Boston ranks 24th in rebounds allowed per game (46.9).
The Nuggets rank third in assists per game (26.5) while the Celtics rank 19th (23.6).
Boston ranks third in fast break points allowed per game (11.7) while Denver ranks 15th (13.3).
The Celtics rank second in steals per game (8.8) while the Nuggets rank 12th (8.0).
Denver ranks 16th in three pointers allowed per game (33.2) while Boston ranks 25th (36.0).
The Celtics rank second in points allowed in the paint per game (40.8) while the Nuggets rank 10th (47.3).
Denver ranks third in second chance points allowed per game (11.2) while Boston ranks 10th (12.8).
The Nuggets rank 15th in blocks per game (5.0) while the Celtics rank 21st in blocks allowed per game (5.8).
Boston allows the fewest points off turnovers per game (13.8) while Denver ranks third (14.1).
Over its last five games, Denver is 2-3 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
Boston is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over its last five games.
The Nuggets’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 10.0, up from 5.9 for the season.
During their last five games, the Celtics have scored an average of 111.2 points per game (0.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 104.2 points per game (0.3 above their season average).