Celtics vs. Thunder prediction and odds for Tuesday, January 3 (Trust OKC?)

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The Boston Celtics have a one-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference heading into Tuesday’s road date with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

OKC had two days off to prepare for Boston, and this will be the final meeting between these teams in the regular season. Boston won the first matchup at home, 126-122.

The Thunder have fallen to the No. 13 seed in the West, but they are still in the playoff and play-in race, sitting just 2.5 games out of the No. 10 seed.

Both teams could be down some big men in this game, starting with Boston’s Robert Williams III, who is listed as questionable. The Thunder will not have Jeremiah Robinson-Earl or Aleksej Pokusevski in this game due to injury.

OKC comes into this game 25th in net rating, compared to Boston at no. 1, but can it cover the spread as a major home underdog?

Here’s my best bet as well as the latest odds for Tuesday’s matchup:

Celtics vs. Thunder odds, spread and total

Boston Celtics @ Oklahoma City Thunder | Current Best Odds

Fansided

Jan. 03, 7:00 PM

Boston Celtics

BOS

26-11, 20-16-1 ATS

Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC

OKC

15-21, 21-14-1 ATS

Celtics vs. Thunder prediction and pick

Boston is a much better team than OKC, but I think this is a spot where you have to focus on the number, and the number says to bet Oklahoma City.

The Thunder are terrific as home dogs this season, going 8-5 against the spread and 7-6 straight up in those 13 games. Not only that, but OKC actually has a positive average scoring margin in these games (+0.3).

Things are much different for Boston as a road favorite this season, even though it has the best record in the East.

The Celtics are just 7-8 against the spread as road favorites, posting an average margin of victory of just +0.5, and their ATS plus/minus in these 15 games is -3.4.

Boston’s shooting (second in 3-pointers made per game) could be an issue for OKC, but the Thunder have shown they can cover at a high rate at home.

This spread is nearing double digits, but the Thunder only lost by four to the Celtics in Boston. Yes, OKC has posted some duds lately, but that’s the reality of dealing with a young team.

I think Boston wins this game, but nine points is a few too many for my liking.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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