Celtics at Knicks Picks and Game 5 NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/1/2013
The Boston Celtics will once again try and stave off elimination in Game 5 of their best-of-seven opening-round playoff series against the New York Knicks when the two Atlantic Division rivals clash this Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The game is set to get underway at 7 p.m., and it will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Boston continues to cling to its playoff life after losing the first three games of this series by a combined 37 points. It was able to turn back the clock in Game 4 with a thrilling 97-90 victory in overtime as a 1.5-point home underdog to force a Game 5. The total has stayed “under” in three of the first four games in this series.
It is no surprise that New York has been able to control this series after dominating the entire league down the stretch with a rock-solid 16-2 straight up record and an extremely profitable 15-3 record against the spread in its last 18 regular season games.
Celtics at Knicks Betting Storylines
The Celtics came into this series with just three SU victories in their last nine regular season games and a 3-6 record ATS as well, so it is easy to see why they trail in this series three games to one. They hung tough in Game 1 by covering as 7.5-point road underdogs in a seven-point loss, but in the next two outings things were basically decided by halftime. The big difference in this past Sunday’s victory was a ramped-up defensive effort that held New York to shooting just 34.4 percent from the floor.
Boston also got a big night from Paul Pierce (29 points) and Jeff Green (26 points) to help pace the win. Jason Terry was also huge off the bench with 18 points, while Kevin Garnett dominated the boards with 17 rebounds. Pierce and Green have accounted for an average of 42.1 points a game, which is over half of the Celtics’ points in this series. All four of these players will have to remain at the top of their game to give Boston any hope of staying alive.
You can pretty much chalk New York’s loss in Game 4 up to simply having a bad night. This team has been performing at a very high level since mid-March on both ends of the court. You could say that the Knicks offense has been held in check in this series with an average of 88 points a game verse its 100 points-per-game season total, but their defense has risen to the occasion to make up the difference by holding Boston to an average of just 80 points on the other end of the court.
It also helps to have Carmelo Anthony knocking down 33 points a night after leading the NBA in scoring this season with 28.3 points a game. His overall shooting has been a bit off the mark with a 40.7 percentage rate from the field, but the team’s 43.3 rebounds a game have been able to create a number of chances to score points. JR Smith’s absence in Game 4 while serving a one-game suspension also contributed towards Sunday’s loss after averaging 16.3 points in the first three games of this series.
Celtics at Knicks Game 5 Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened the Knicks as eight-point home favorites for Wednesday night’s game with the “over/under” set at 180.
The Celtics are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games and 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in six of their last seven games against a team with a winning record.
The Knicks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 opening-round playoff games but 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games against teams from the Eastern Conference. The total has stayed under in their last four games at home.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings, and the total has stayed under in six of the last seven games. New York 7-2 SU in the last nine meetings and 6-3 ATS.
Celtics at Knicks Picks and Game 5 Betting Predictions
Give credit to Boston for avoiding the sweep against one of the hottest teams in the league, but winning a desperation game at home is a bit different than trying to extend a series on the road, especially when the venue is Madison Square Garden. While eight points is a lot to give up in a division rivalry such as this, stick with New York to quickly regain its form to bring a merciful ending to the Celtics’ long and tumultuous season with another double-digit romp.
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