Jan 29, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) talks to guard Jaylen Brown (7) in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics look for their seventh straight win as they host the Denver Nuggets
Denver has won two straight heading into the Friday matchup
Find the odds, betting analysis, and prediction below
The Boston Celtics are playing their best basketball of the season.
They’ll try to extend to a season-best 7-game win streak Friday night when they host the Denver Nuggets, and one of the league’s best players.
Both teams are hovering around the play-in line. Boston sits seventh in the East, just a half-game back of the Toronto Raptors. Denver holds down sixth in the West, with the Minnesota Timberwolves trying to chase them down.
It all gets underway at 7:30pm ET from TD Garden and you can catch it live on NBA TV.
Nuggets vs Celtics Odds
Odds as of Feb 10 at FanDuel
Boston Celtics Betting Analysis
It’s taken more than half the season, but the Celtics are finally starting to resemble the squad that’s made the playoffs the last seven years, including a pair of trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The beat went on Tuesday night in a 126-91 drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets. Jaylen Brown led the way with 22 points, seven rebounds and nine dimes. Marcus Smart matched Brown with 22 of his own, while Jayson Tatum scored 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.
22 points to go with seven boards and nine dimes for Jaylen Brown against the Nets at Brooklyn. That’s one assist shy of his career-high ☘️
Full highlights ▶️ https://t.co/Ux60211EQY pic.twitter.com/Jhl2Zozpev
— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) February 9, 2022
That win gave Boston six straight and eight in their last nine. Over that stretch, they’re putting up 113.6 points per game — a mark that ties the league-leading Utah Jazz.
Defensively, the C’s have held seven teams to under 100 points in the last nine games. They are holding teams to 92.6 points a game, which would rank tops in the NBA with a bullet, nine points better than the league-leading Cavaliers’ scoring defense.
Derrick White among guards:
➼ 3rd in 2P FGs defended per game
➼ 3rd in 2P DFG% (opponents shoot 5.8% below their average)
➼ 6th in rim attempts defended
➼ 2nd in rim DFG% (opponents shoot 10%! Below their average)
➼ 2nd in charges drawn
➼ 1st in total blocks
Good luck pic.twitter.com/0NMjyVGCyU
— HOOPS EMPIRE (@HoopsEmpire_) February 10, 2022
The recent run gave Boston the confidence to bulk up at the deadline, picking up guard Derrick White from the San Antonio Spurs for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford and a 2022 first-round pick.
White is putting up 14.4 points and 5.6 assists this year, and adds another scoring threat. They also shipped guard Dennis Schroder and big men Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando for forward Daniel Theis.
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Denver Nuggets Betting Analysis
After dropping three straight, the Nuggets have bounced back with two straight wins, giving them wins in seven of their last 10 contests.
They did a number on the New York teams, crushing Brooklyn 124-104 on Sunday, following that up with a 132-115 drubbing of the New York Knicks.
The Joker strikes again.
With his triple-double vs the Nets Sunday (27-12-10 on 12-15 FG) , Nikola Jokic joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players with multiple 25-point triple-doubles on 80% shooting in NBA history.
Wilt did it 7 times. pic.twitter.com/j8SKB5KeGw
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 7, 2022
Nikola Jokic, one of the top picks for 2022 NBA MVP, continues to be the engine that runs the Nuggets. He had a triple-double against BK, tallying 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and dusted the Knicks for 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven dimes.
He’s gone four straight with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds, and has gone 11 straight games with at least seven assists. They guy keeps delivering.
Bones Hyland stared down Kemba then pointed at him 😳 pic.twitter.com/THA7o8bI0b
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 9, 2022
Denver stayed relatively silent at the trade deadline, which means they’ll ride the reigning MVP Jokic, while banking on the return of Jamal Murray to provide a late-season and playoff spark.
They’ll be hoping for strong bench play till that happens. That group poured in 61 against the Knicks last time out. Rookie Bones Hyland had 22 points, while JaMychal Green had 20 and Zeke Nnaji had 11.
Celtics vs Nuggets Pick
This is the first of two games between these two teams this season, with Boston putting up a 2-0 mark against the spread vs Denver over the last three seasons. Both of those games went under.
The Celtics are 18-10 at home on the year, tied with Miami and Cleveland for the second-most home wins in the conference, but they’re just 12-15-1 ATS.
Here’s how Jayson Tatum got out of double-teams that the Nets sent his way last night, and how the Celtics were able to score off of that: pic.twitter.com/pDJvU1Kj8p
— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) February 9, 2022
The Nuggets are 15-14 on the road this season, and 13-16 ATS.
Expect Jokic to continue to do what he does. No one on the Celtics has the size or athleticism to contain him.
That being said, even with a promising outing from their supporting cast, I don’t know if there’s enough firepower to keep up with Tatum and Brown. Tatum ranks 10th in scoring, with Brown in 14th.
Look for the Celtics to extend their run to a seventh straight.
The pick: Celtics ML (xx)