THE weekend is here and we’ve got a busy Saturday of NBA action ahead to kick things off.
Let’s take a look at our best value play on offer for punters.
Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz
The Celtics begin a tough West Coast road trip in Salt Lake City as they look to put forth some consistency this season after a turbulent beginning to the year.
Currently 12-10 on the season, Boston has had to deal with a number of lineup changes while also trying to familiarise themselves with the new system implemented by first time head coach Ime Udoka.
Their up-and-down start to the season can definitely be forgiven and I consider Boston one of the top play on sides in the coming weeks as they look to get everyone healthy and begin adjusting to their new roles within the system.
While their offence hasn’t quite found its spark yet, Boston is building its brand on an incredible defensive scheme that could allow this squad to reach its full potential. They boast a number of high-calibre versatile on-ball defenders capable of guarding elite scorers and that ability to switch without giving up mismatches makes them a difficult unit to overcome in half court sets.
The Celtics are top-5 in the league in points per 100 possessions (104.0) and the projected starting lineup for Boston goes above that rating – allowing just 96.3 points per 100 possessions, despite the inclusion of Dennis Schroder in the lineup.
While they have performed well without the ball, to say they have struggled to score would be a massive understatement. Their offence ranks 21st in the league and won’t be helped by the absence of Jaylen Brown here.
There won’t be any reprieve tonight as they take on a very sturdy Utah defence that very much remains elite at both ends of the floor.
Quinn Snyder’s side have picked up right where they left things off last regular season and their style of play is perfectly suited to being a top-5 team on both offence and defence throughout the course of the season.
While they are off to a solid 14-7 start the season, it does need to be noted that their strength of opponent hasn’t been particularly strong with just one of their last 10 opponents rating in the leagues top-10 for defensive ratings.
Both these teams are in the bottom third of the league in pace and I don’t see how that increases at all in this matchup. Both teams will want to put an emphasis on defence here and while the total has moved a bit off its opener I do still see value here for punters.
Our best bet: Under 209.5 points $1.90 at PlayUp