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NBA Preview: 18th December

THINGS are getting chaotic across the NBA as we look to avoid some of the mayhem and find the best value on offer for punters.

Here’s today’s best of the bunch:

Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics

HE Golden State Warriors head to the TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics as they continue their Eastern Conference road trip.

Golden State have won four of their last five matches but it must be said that they have been less convincing than what we have been accustomed to in the early stages of the season.

The Warriors have had the benefit of a soft schedule to start the season but as they work their way into some tougher scheduling spots, road trips and opponents we will find out the making of this side and whether they are genuine contenders.

During this road trip, the Dubs offence has seen a slight drop off , particularly in the half court where they are being forced to face set defences with a higher frequency.

Missing Jordan Poole figures to be a big loss for the Warriors, for as good as they have been a lot of their upside has come from squad and lineup consistency.  Losing Poole forces them to shuffle their rotation and will give more minutes to players who don’t have the scoring capacity that Poole has shown this season.

Boston have had one of the more adverse starts to the season, they get Jaylen Brown back in the starting lineup for this one after he made a successful return to the lineup against Milwaukee last time out.

That said, losing Al Horford for today is a big out for them. Fortunately, the Warriors don’t possess the size to take advantage of it so I’m anticipating the impact will be minimal, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.

Boston’s defence still has the capacity to be elite and with Brown in the lineup they are a much more versatile unit without the ball. Their perimeter defence will receive a huge boost and they can play their man more aggressively having the rim protection of Robert Williams.

The home side’s struggles on offence have become apparent and they certainly won’t be done any favours against the league’s best defence. While the team continues to work through understanding its roles under new head coach Ime Udoka we are likely to continue seeing mixed results for them – particularly against some of the more elite defensive teams in the league.

Both teams will likely force their opponents to settle into half court sets and lean on their defence to lead the way here. I’m projecting a slower pace of play in this one, which gives us plenty of value on the total as a result.

My number comes out at around 210 points here so we’re getting some great value on the current market. The number moving the other way presents better position as well so let’s lock in a good price.

Our best bet: Under 217.0 points $1.98 at PlayUp


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