NBA Betting Preview - Phoenix Suns at Boston Celtics (Monday 8:00 ET)
By Matt Fargo
Boston has won four straight games after suffering through a miserable 2-7 slump that had many people talking that the luster was suddenly gone.
They have responded well and even though these four wins have come against Toronto and New Jersey, both of which were hone-and-home sets, the restoration of the confidence is the most important part.
The upcoming schedule is not easy for Boston as after this game, 10 of its next 14 games are on the road including eight games against teams currently sitting in playoff spots.
Boston needs to take care of its business at home which it has done for the most part this season, going 20-2 which is the second best record in the league behind Cleveland's 20-0 mark.
During that recent nine-game stinkfest, only two of those games were at home with just one resulting in a loss and that was against the Rockets.
I went against Phoenix on Friday at home against the Timberwolves and it certainly paid off with an outright win for Minnesota.
The Suns did bounce back on Sunday with a win in Toronto, which resulted in a push against the number, but now it is time for a back-to-back set against a rugged defense.
Phoenix is 12-10 over its last 22 games and is currently only a game out from actually missing the playoffs.
The Western Conference is rugged once again as it is going to be a nine-team race for eight playoff spots and the Suns could be on the outside looking in.
There is a changing of the guard in the conference as young teams such as Portland and New Orleans are taking over for the teams that used to rule the conference such as Phoenix and Dallas.
The Suns have been one of the bigger disappointments for backers as hey are just 13-23-1 against the number including a7-9-1 ATS mark on the road.
The Suns have allowed 108.4 ppg over their last five games and it has been nearly as bad during the 12-10 stretch. Over those 22 games, the defense has given up an average of 106.5 ppg.
The Celtics are all about their defense but they are more than capable of putting up big offensive numbers as proven over their last three games by averaging 112.7 ppg.
It should be noted that during that 2-7 stretch, the Celtics scored fewer than 90 points in six of those losses.
When scoring 100 or more points in regulation, Boston is a perfect 20-0 this season while going 14-6 ATS. Hitting that century mark will be the key and Boston should be able to accomplish that without a problem against this defense.
Phoenix had won five straight meetings prior to the Celtics snapping that skid at home last season in a 20-point win.
The Celtics are 26-4 this season against teams residing outside the top ten and surprisingly enough, the Suns are in that category as they are ranked 12th in the league.
Boston is 16-6 ATS this season when playing teams that force fewer than 14 turnovers per game.
The Suns are only 7-18 ATS when involved in a game where the total is set at 200 or higher while the Celtics are 18-8 ATS after scoring 105 or more points last game showing that the offensive success does in fact carry over.
Look for Boston to show that it really is back with a romp at home.
Pick: Boston Celtics -8 (-102) available at 5dimes.com.
Check out the NBA basketball betting forum for more picks and information or to post your own NBA predictions.