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The Boston Celtics’ Win Total is the Bet You’ve Been Looking For

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Aug 16, 2018 · 8:00 AM PDT

Jayson Tatum of the Celtics
Jayson Tatum may be already capable of being the go-to guy in Boston. Photo by Keith Allison (wikipedia) [CC License].
  • Books have set the Celtics’ 2018-19 win total at 58.5
  • Boston’s star players are ready to return after injuries cut their season short
  • Brad Stevens’ coaching ability gives the Celtics an extra edge

Last season, the Boston Celtics were among the NBA’s elite, posting a 55-27 record in the East, good for second over all in the conference. They had quite a playoff run too, finishing one game shy of making the Finals, ousted by long-time nemesis LeBron James.

Now imagine what they’ll be capable of this year, with what should be a healthy roster.

It’s why books listed the Celtics with the second-highest win totals figure, just behind the two-time NBA champion-Warriors.

2018-19 Boston Celtics Win Total Odds

Over 58.5 Wins Under 58.5 Wins
-115 -115

It’s one of the more intriguing bets, but don’t overthink this one. Let’s break this down, and show you why taking the over will land you a nice little payday.

THE STARS ARE BACK

The All-Star duo of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward combined to play 60 games and about five minutes out of a possible 164 regular season contests, with injuries derailing their seasons. It’s quite mind-boggling that the Celtics didn’t fold – unlike Hayward’s ankle on opening night. But he’s looking back to top form.

Take the two best players off any team across the league and it’s likely they’re headed straight for the draft lottery.

Does the return of Kyrie and Hayward equal four more wins? It should.

This was a team whose only real weakness was on the offensive end, where they ranked 20th in both scoring and assists, and 21st in field goal percentage. It stands to reason that their two best shot creators will be able to put the ball in the hoop, and also make it easier for the offense to flow.

THE SYSTEM IS IN PLACE

While the Celtics struggled to score, that was attributable to a talent deficiency. They had no such issues on the defensive side, which is widely considered the effort end of the court.

Defense will once again be Boston’s calling card.

Boston held their opponents to just 100.4 points a game, which was third overall behind the Spurs and Jazz. Their length and switchability helped them limit teams to just 44% shooting from the field (good for second in the league) and they led the NBA shutting down the splashes from beyond the arc, as teams shot just 33.9% from deep. If that part of their game carries over to this season – and they’re running back essentially the same roster – defense will again be their calling card.

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

Sometimes you hit the right pick in the draft. That’s what Boston did in grabbing Jayson Tatum at no. 3 last season, and the rookie was an absolute hit. He’s eventually going to be running things in Beantown and has true star ability.

While not on that level of potential, Jaylen Brown is coming into his own as one of the most effective two-way players in the NBA, with his defensive chops already upper echelon, and an expanding repertoire on offense. Terry Rozier proved an able backup, and a nice safety blanket if Kyrie is limited in any way.

These are guys that would probably be tasked to take on larger roles on lesser teams. Here? They are basically super-overqualified role players on a deep roster – a luxury few teams enjoy.

THE NUMBERS GAME

How soft is the East? Well, look down the rest of the win totals, and there are no less than seven teams in the conference with win totals maxing out at 35.5 – Atlanta, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Orlando.

The Celtics play those teams 26 times next season. Last season, they were 21-5 in those games – and that was with LeBron James on the Cavaliers.

They can potentially lift that mark to 23-3. They’d need to go just 36-20 the rest of the way to bang the over.

IN BRAD THEY TRUST

Head coach Brad Stevens will be, for the first time in his coaching tenure in Boston, in the pole position as the East favorite. He’ll have a roster that’s arguably the deepest and most versatile in the NBA.

Stevens’ preparation and in-game adjustments are already considered top tier, and he should have this team prepared to compete every night.

A top coach, a top roster, and a team hungry to get to where they fell short last year? That has 60+ wins written all over it.

Take the “over” all day.

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