- For the first time this season, the Boston Celtics are favored to win the NBA’s Atlantic Division
- Across the leading sportsbooks, Boston’s average odds are +115
- The Celtics are the +100 favorite to win the Atlantic at BetOnline
Not since they opened the season 10-1 have the Boston Celtics looked as dominant. An 8-2 roll over their past 10 games has vaulted the Celtics into top spot in the NBA’s Atlantic Division.
The hot stretch has also shot the Celtics into favored status to win the division currently across the leading sportsbooks. Boston’s average to win the Atlantic are at +115 in the NBA Divisional odds.
BetOnline likes Boston even more. The sportsbook has Boston at odds of +100 to win the division.
2019-20 NBA Atlantic Division Odds
|Team||Odds at BetOnline|
|New York Knicks||+100000|
Odds taken Jan. 8th
These are the best numbers the Celtics have posted since mid-November, when they were +177 to win the Atlantic. That still trailed the Philadelphia 76ers (-125) at the time.
In the previous odds, taken Dec. 26th, Boston was at +235. The Sixers were the -150 chalk.
Celtics Stepping Up
Boston (25-9) leads the Atlantic Division. The Celtics are also making a bold move up the NBA ladder as well.
ESPN established Boston as #3 in the league in the network’s latest NBA power rankings. The Celtics trail only the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) January 6, 2020
Bleacher Report took Boston a step further, moving the Celtics past the Lakers into second in their power rankings.
Getting Fat Off Bottom Feeders?
While there were a couple of signature victories during Boston’s 8-2 run, the Celtics also claimed most of their wins at the expense of NBA bottom feeders.
Boston posted impressive triumphs at the Dallas Mavericks and at their Atlantic Division rivals the Toronto Raptors.
However, the Celtics also beat the Atlanta Hawks (8-29), Detroit Pistons (14-24), Cleveland Cavaliers (10-27), Chicago Bulls (13-24) and won twice against the Charlotte Hornets (15-24).
They were 6-1 against sub-500 teams during their past nine games.
Games In Hand Bolster Boston
Boston has played 34 games. That’s four fewer the the 76ers (24-14) and three less than the Toronto Raptors (24-13). On paper, leading and having more games to play is generally looked upon as a good thing.
The Celtics will be making up some of that ground over the next while, and it could exact a toll on their well being.
Celtics have THREE back to backs in 13 days. Every second night is an away game, AND against the better team.
This schedule is awful.
— AMANDALORIAN (@HoorayAmanda) January 7, 2020
Counting consecutive wins over the Hawks (Jan. 3) and Bulls (Jan. 4) Boston will have played back-to-back games three times in less than two weeks. Each pairing is a home game followed by a road game, and the second game of all of these back-to-backs offers the more imposing foe.
The Celtics are at Philadelphia on Thursday. They travel to face the NBA-leading Bucks on Jan. 16th.
A Steady Kanter
Backup center Enes Kanter is proving to be an astute addition to Boston’s rotation. Kanter leads the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage (16.3) and is third in overall rebound percentage (20.9). He’s also fourth in the association in net rating (15.3). Kanter is the only player in the top six in this stat who doesn’t play for Milwaukee.
Backup center Enes Kanter is surging for the #Celtics
Kanter ranks 4th in #NBA this season in Net Rating (15.3)… For context, reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is at 15.4
Kanter is the only non-Milwaukee Bucks player in the league's Top-6 in Net Rating 👀 pic.twitter.com/pSVzLqtcIH
— Jon Jacobson (@TommyPointJon) January 6, 2020
Other advanced stats display how well the Celtics are performing at both ends of the court. Point guard Kemba Walker is third in the NBA in offensive rating (117.2). Forward Grant Williams leads the NBA in defensive rating (96.4). Boston is the only team with a player among the top three in both categories.
The Celtics have posted the NBA’s third-best record. Boston holds the #4 scoring margin (7.3), and #3 defense (103.5 ppg),
Boston is an NBA-leading 14-2 at home and no team has more home games remaining (25).
Setting Sail In Atlantic
Thursday’s Celtics-Sixers showdown in Philly will be minus a key perfomer. Philly will be without Joel Embiid (finger injury). But Walker (illness) is expected to be back for Boston following a three-game absence.
— Celtics Nation (@CelticsNationCP) January 8, 2020
Something seems to be missing once again this season with the 76ers. A 121-109 Christmas Day rout of Milwaukee showed what they’re capable of when firing on all cylinders. But Philly has lost four of five since that game.
The Sixers are 7-12 on the road, with just one away victory against an above-.500 club. Athough, that victory was at Boston.
The defending NBA champion Raptors keep scrapping, despite the long-term injury absences of Pascal Siakim, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell. The Raps are 3-5 in their last eight games.
Boston’s the Best But It’s Not a Slam Dunk
Among the Atlantic’s top trio, the Celtics look to be the best best but they certainly aren’t a lock. Boston is 4-4 against the top teams in the East and 3-2 against the best of the West.
Every day improvements 📈💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/pa7ulcEiN5
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 7, 2020
That Eastern slate includes a 2-3 mark against the 76ers (0-2) and Raptors (2-1).
But with games in hand, and relative health among their core, the Celtics are the team to beat in the Atlantic.
Pick: Boston Celtics (+100).
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