The Over/Under bet for Saturday’s game (November 5)

Celtics vs. Knicks Odds

Celtics odds -4.5
Knicks odds +4.5
More less 225.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA Television
Odds via FanDuel. Keep up to date NBA Odds here.

Two rivals will meet for the first time this season when the Boston Celtics head to Madison Square Garden the second night in a row to take on the New York Knicks, who also played Friday night. Both have the opportunity to build their second winning streak of the season.

Considering how fun this Season Series was last year, we should have a good game. What is the best way to bet? Let’s break it down.

Celtics defense keeps coming

The Celtics didn’t really play Celtics basketball to start the season. They’ve been somewhat disappointed with a 5-3 record so far, going only 3-5 against the spreadand they need to make their mark defensively, ranking 18th in that regard.

Boston played suffocating defense in a win over the Wizards a week ago and posted a 103.6 defensive rating against Cleveland on Wednesday, so maybe things are starting to turn around there. That said, Friday was an uninspired performance to that end. The Celtics led in double digits for most of the second half, but allowed Chicago to come back into the game, scoring at will on the inside.

Generally speaking, however, things have been good in this area. Celtics rank eighth in percentage of field goals defended within 10 feet and ninth overall. Al Horford remained a solid presence down low, and that collection of guards and wings forced the contested riders.

An interesting little battle to watch in this game will be the one between the second units. For Boston, Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench to spell Marcus Smart and Derrick White with great results. He had 29 points in Friday’s win over the Bulls and the Celtics are +1.6 per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

The problem? White is a +8.3 and Smart a -6.7. The splits are very clear on which guards should get the bulk of the run, and while Smart did get the short end of the stick against Chicago, it’s only because he got five fouls.


Knicks get (finally) creative with lineups

Speaking of second units, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau redefined his own a bit in a win over the Sixers on Friday. He inserted Quentin Grimes into Evan Fournier’s starting lineup and moved RJ Barrett into small-ball five. Then, to close out the match, he paired an unlikely duo with Obi Toppin and Julius Randle.

Thibodeau fears these two have been playing side-by-side for years because it means there’s no rim protector on the floor and no true five given that both men like to space the floor. It worked like a charm, though, and the line up of two men is now +66.7 per 100 possessions in the 10 minutes they played together.

It’s a comical number due to the small sample size, but you get the point. The Knicks looked unstoppable once those two were paired up in the fourth.

Toppin is part of a second unit that has also shone this season. The base triumvirate of Toppin, Immanuel Quickley and Isaiah Hartenstein off the bench is a +10.4 per 100 possessions, which is far better than any combination among the starters.

To clean things up here, let me pass on two notes. First, the Knicks are 18-8 ATS under Tom Thibodeau, covering by an average margin of 8.3 points. The second is that even though the Knicks’ offense has lagged a bit, they’re still pretty 13th in defensive efficiency, doing a great job inside.

Celtics-Knicks pick

Both teams have been pretty dreadful against the spread, with Boston covering just three times and New York taking its first cover since a 3-0 start to the year. So it’s hard to say that we can trust one team over another at this stage.

I think the Knicks’ second unit is the best thing to do in this game, and while we may see them close here, I think the best option is to just bet on this combination. Toppin was excellent Friday night, giving the Knicks 17 points off the bench, and Cam Reddish was a team-high +19 with 11 points.

The Knicks currently lead the league in second-quarter points per game, but not far behind are the Celtics in sixth. The Knicks also have the worst defense in the second quarter and Boston is in the bottom 10. There is a trend here.

I think taking the second quarter makes sense, given the weapons both teams have on the bench. I also like the idea of ​​betting on these two teams before they get tired.

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