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Celtics vs Thunder Picks & Odds (Jan. 3)

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Updated Jan 3, 2023 · 11:32 AM PST

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum resting his hands on his knees
Jan 1, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Boston Celtics are 8.5-point favorites over the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 3rd
  • Boston beat the Thunder by four points when the teams met earlier this season
  • Read below for our Celtics vs Thunder picks and the latest odds

The Boston Celtics (26-11, 11-6 road) play the second game of their Western Conference roadtrip on Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder (15-21, 10-9 home). After falling 115-96 to the Philadelphia 76ers on New Year’s Eve, the Thunder have lost three of their last four games.

Aleksej Pokusevski, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Chet Holmgren and Ousmane Dieng are all out for the hosts. Danilo Gallinari is the only player on Boston’s injury report. The Italian suffered a torn ACL playing for his country in the summer and hasn’t been in the Celtics NBA lineup this season.

Boston has won four of its last five, and has a 13-4 record against teams below .500 in 2022-23. Seven of Oklahoma City’s 15 wins have come against teams over .500, including two against the Portland Trail Blazers and one against the Memphis Grizzlies just before Christmas.

Celtics vs Thunder Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total Points
Boston Celtics -8.5 (-110) -360 O 235 (-110)
Oklahoma City Thunder +8.5 (-110) +295 U 235 (-110)

Odds as of January 3 at DraftKings. Claim the DraftKings promo code to bet on the Celtics vs Thunder game.

Despite losing to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, NBA odds price the Boston Celtics as 8.5-point favorites over the Oklahoma City Thunder for Tuesday’s game. Boston has a 9-8 against the spread record on the road, while the Thunder have covered in 57.9% of their games at Paycom Center.



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The Celtics lost both of their games against the Thunder in the 2021-22 regular season, including a 111-105 loss in Oklahoma City.

Celtics Finally Get Healthy

Gallinari is a non-factor for Boston after getting hurt before the season tipped off. The Celtics have their full rotation available here, with Malcolm Brogdon returning for the loss to Denver. Robert Williams, Brogdon, Grant Williams and Sam Hauser are the league’s best bench unit. Their depth is an advantage against most teams, but especially so against a young Thunder team.

After a blip, the Celtics are back to the top of the Eastern Conference and are once again owners of the league’s best net rating. They have recorded several marquee wins on the road already this season, beating the Lakers, Suns, Raptors and Nets on their last road trip.

With their complete roster, the Celtics are an inner circle title contender. The Thunder have been competitive this season, but they are heading for another season in the lottery and it is no surprise to see them as big underdogs here.

Thunder Are Strong at Home

Prior to their loss to the Sixers, the Thunder had gone 4-1 over their last five home games. Their only loss over that period came in overtime against the New Orleans Pelicans. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to play at an All-NBA level, and there is enough talent around him to go toe-to-toe with the league’s best teams.

Boston’s size makes them a challenging matchup for Gilgeous-Alexander, however. A lot is then asked of the supporting cast. No other player averages more than 14.9 points per game, and the Thunder become very dependent on outside shots falling, which is an area the Celtics are great at defending, with only five teams allowing fewer three-pointers on a rate basis.

On the defensive end, the Thunder have been a well-oiled machine all season long, and rank in the top 10 in defensive rating over the last 10 games. Boston has had its issues on offense of late, but it is a huge ask for the young Thunder to matchup with the scoring duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Celtics vs Thunder Prediction

There is rightly some optimism about Oklahoma City, and if Gilgeous-Alexander has a big night, they can push the Celtics hard. Boston, though, is an immense defensive team with numerous options to throw at Gilgeous-Alexander, and their offense has regained its groove after some difficult games late last month.

Only six teams have a worse net rating than the Thunder. Boston has begun to look like its early-season self again of late, and a loss to the surging Nuggets doesn’t exactly lessen the confidence in them.

Take the Cs to cover this spread and improve on their Association-leading record.

Pick: Celtics -8.5 (-110)


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