The Phoenix Suns are in Beantown to take on the Boston Celtics for an afternoon matchup at 1 p.m. ET at TD Garden on New Year’s Eve.
The Suns ended a two-game skid with an easy win over the Oklahoma City Thunder the on Wednesday night. Phoenix had won five in a row heading into that matchup. The Suns are going to be a bit thin in the front court for this game. Both Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee are in COVID-19 protocols. Jae Crowder is also in there with them. So that’ll mean more Cameron Johnson and Jalen Smith down low.
The Celtics have lost three in a row and will remain without All-Star F Jayson Tatum, who is in H&S protocols. Dennis Schroder and Enes Freedom are also in there with Tatum, so the Celtics aren’t too far off from being at full-strength. Regardless, the Celtics have still struggled under first-year coach Ime Udoka.
Let’s take a look at the lines and odds on DraftKings Sportsbook for Suns-Celtics on Friday afternoon.
Pick ATS: Suns -4 (-110)
Maybe if the Celtics had Tatum this would be a different story. The Suns enter in better form overall and the absence of their bigs shouldn’t be a big deal against the Celtics. Boston doesn’t have anyone down low who can kill Phoenix with Tatum out. Smith has played well for the Suns with Ayton sidelined. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are still fine, along with Mikal Bridges. The Celtics should struggle on offense without Tatum and the Suns are among the top defensive units in the NBA.
Over/Under: Under 213.5
As was mentioned a few second ago, no Tatum means the Celtics’ offense should struggle. It also helps Schroder is sidelined as well. The last time these two teams played the Suns won 111-90, so the under hit. That was with a healthy Tatum and no Devin Booker, so things even out a bit. Both sides had more bodies in that game anyway. It’s also an unorthodox early Friday start. That could throw off the Suns traveling to the East coast.
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