Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction, Preview, and Odds

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It’s a battle of elite teams on the hardwood as an interconference battle comes to you from the Mile-High City. The Boston Celtics are on the road as they travel west to take on the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. Boston comes in off a 105-104 road loss to Cleveland in their previous game Tuesday night, losing outright as an 8.5-point favorite. Denver was outgunned 117-107 in overtime at home by Phoenix in their previous game Tuesday night, losing outright as an 8.5-point favorite. In the all-time regular season series between the teams, the Celtics own a 60-39 advantage though the Nuggets have won the last two meetings. That includes a 102-100 road win in the first matchup this season on January 19.

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Boston Celtics Look to Start New Win Streak

Boston saw their 11-game win streak snapped as they were edged on the road by Cleveland in their previous game Tuesday night. The Celtics fell to 48-13 overall and own the top spot in the Atlantic Division by 12.5 games over the Knicks entering Wednesday night. They were atop the Eastern Conference standings by 7.5 games over Milwaukee. Against Cleveland, Boston led by eight after the opening quarter, by 10 at the half and by 16 after three quarters before running out of steam. The Celtics were up as many as 22 in the final quarter but were outscored 34-17 and ended up falling short. Boston shot 41.9% from the floor, including 15 of 38 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 53-42 in the loss. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 26 points and 13 rebounds in the defeat.

Count the basket 🤯 pic.twitter.com/3T1FwEZ16S

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 6, 2024

For the season, the Celtics are 3rd in the league in scoring offense with an average of 121 points per game. Boston is 1st in the league in rebounding with 47.2 boards per contest while they stand 17th in assists by handing out 26.4 assists per game. The Celtics are 4th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 109.8 points per contest. Jaylen Brown is second on the team with an average of 22.4 points plus 5.4 rebounds per contest. Jayson Tatum contributes 27.1 points plus 8.5 rebounds per contest and Kristaps Porzingis chips in 20.4 points plus 6.9 rebounds a night. Derrick White (15.3 points, four rebounds, 4.9 assists) and Jrue Holiday (12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists) each score in double figures. Sam Hauser, Xavier Tillman Sr., Jaden Springer, Al Horford, Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet and Oshae Brissett are other key rotation pieces for Joe Mazzulla. Boston is 10th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 48.6% from the floor this season. The Celtics are 1st in the league in threes per game as they hit 16.3 triples per contest while they are 4th in three-point field goal percentage by shooting 38.6% from beyond the arc.

Brown (pelvis) is questionable for this contest.

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Denver Nuggets Shoot To Gain Ground in Western Conference Chase

Denver came up on the short end at home in their previous contest against the Suns in overtime Tuesday night. The Nuggets entered Wednesday 42-20 on the season and stood third in the Northwest Division, one game behind the Timberwolves for the top spot. They were third in the Western Conference standings, one game behind Minnesota for the top spot and seven games clear of the Kings to remain in a guaranteed playoff spot. Against Phoenix, Denver led by four after the opening quarter and by as many as seven in the second quarter before getting outscored 29-7 to trail by 15 at the half. The Nuggets were down 22 with 9:26 to play in the third quarter but cut the margin to nine after three quarters before forcing overtime. In the extra session, the Nuggets were outscored 15-5 to wind up with the loss. Denver shot 42.7% from the floor, including 15 of 40 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 14 times in the loss. Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 28 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in the loss.

JAMAL MURRAY. CLUTCH.

Nuggets go up 3 with less than a minute to play on TNT! pic.twitter.com/kxcfK2fy9U

— NBA (@NBA) March 6, 2024

On the year, Denver is 16th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 114.4 points per game this season. The Nuggets are 9th in rebounding by collecting 44.5 boards per contest while they are 4th by dishing out an average of 29 assists a night. Denver stands 7th in scoring defense as they give up an average of 110.4 points a night. Nikola Jokic is leading the team in scoring with 25.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night this season. Jamal Murray (20.8 points, 6.5 assists), Aaron Gordon (13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds), Michael Porter Jr. (16.6 points, 7.1 rebounds) and Christian Braun each are solid scoring options. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10.2 points), Peyton Watson, Reggie Jackson (10.2 points, 3.8 assists), Zeke Nnaji and Julian Strawther are among the other players that coach Michael Malone calls on in the rotation. The Nuggets are 5th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 49.2% from the floor. Denver is 27th as they connect on 11.5 three-pointers a night while the team is 15th as they knock down 36.8% of their attempts from beyond the arc.

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Best Bets for this Game

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We’re looking at a pair of elite teams loaded with marquee talent in what could be a potential NBA Finals preview. Boston is going to be motivated after blowing that 22-point fourth-quarter lead to Cleveland and seeing their 11-game win streak snapped Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Denver has to regroup after climbing out of a 22-point hole before falling in overtime at home to the Suns. Boston is elite offensively while Denver is middle of the pack in scoring both teams are sound defensively. Perimeter shooting may end up being the difference as the Celtics can have the most threes per game in the league while the Nuggets are near the bottom of the league in that category. Boston isn’t intimidated by being on the road or in altitude as they avenge their home loss to the Nuggets by prevailing here.

Prediction: Boston Celtics -105

Full-Game Total Pick

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Boston went into Wednesday night having seen the under post a 32-28-1 mark in their 61 contests on the year. The Celtics are 19th in the league in tempo as they average 97.9 possessions per game. On the season, they are 4th in the league in turnovers by committing 12.4 per contest. Denver has stayed under the total in 39 of their 62 games, with one push, on the season entering Wednesday night’s action. The Nuggets are 6th in the league in turnovers as they commit an average of 12.7 possessions a game this season. Denver is a slow-paced team as they are 27th in the league in terms of tempo this season with 96.8 possessions a night. We saw just 202 points in the first meeting: even with a little better offensive showing, this game winds up short of the mark.

Prediction: Under 221

Written By
Chris King , “Chris King”

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it’s playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he’s checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it’s out there, he’s covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He’s written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you’re looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.



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