Damian Lillard is typically the go-to guy for the Portland Trail Blazers, but our expert NBA picks predict that Cam Reddish will step his game up against the Boston Celtics tonight.
There are plenty of playoff implications as the Portland Trail Blazers visit the Boston Celtics tonight.
The Trail Blazers are holding onto the final play-in spot out West, trying to fend off a strong charge from the Jazz and attempting to free themselves from the logjam they find themselves in with the Thunder, Pelicans, and Lakers.
The Celtics are attempting to grab the top seed in the East from Milwaukee, trailing by just 2.5 games. With that said, a three-game slide has cooled down their momentum heading into the homestretch.
Let’s break down how this one should go in our NBA picks and predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Celtics on Wednesday, March 8.
Trail Blazers vs Celtics best odds
Trail Blazers vs Celtics picks and predictions
But, in reality, Lillard cannot do it all, especially against a team like the Boston Celtics. He’ll need a role player to step up and help him, and it won’t be either Ryan Arcidiacono, Anfernee Simons, or Justise Winslow, who all remain out for the Blazers.
One guy who’s been red-hot over the last week or so for Portland is Cam Reddish, and I’m going to back him to pile up some points here despite a relatively difficult matchup with the Celtics. That is, on paper anyway.
Boston has been excellent defensively on the season, but of late, it has struggled. The Celtics have allowed 114 points per 100 possessions over the last five games, good for only 13th in the NBA. They’ve allowed 37.2% shooting on guarded looks from 3-point range over their last 10 overall, which is a mediocre mark.
It’s far from an impossible task for Reddish to hit 14 points, and it’s promising that he’s done so in two of his last three while averaging 18 points per contest. Shooting guard is also a position which Boston has specifically struggled against this year, allowing 24.1 ppg on average.
Reddish is feeling it, and he’s being fed the shot attempts to score the ball enough to crush this NBA player props Over.
My best bet: Reddish Over 13.5 points (-115 at DraftKings)
Best NBA bonuses
Looking to do some NBA betting? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet of up to $1,000! Sign Up Now
B) Get one no-sweat NBA same-game parlay every day at DraftKings! Opt-in Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Trail Blazers vs Celtics spread analysis
The Trail Blazers were initially offered as 9.5-point underdogs here before the betting market pushed the line to 10 points. With that in mind, DraftKings is reporting 64% of the tickets are on Portland. Why the move, then? Well, while the majority of tickets are on Portland, just 51% of the money is on the road team, representing a much more even split.
It’s hard to get a feel for how this one will go, particularly with the status of Jusuf Nurkic up in the air. Robert Williams III remains out for Boston, so there could be a huge advantage to be had for the Trail Blazers in the event the bigman was able to go for the first time since Feb. 1.
Should Nurkic play, I’d lean towards the Blazers. Boston has covered just once in the last five games and seemed to really struggle against Mitchell Robinson and the Knicks without their defensive anchor in there. The Celtics are also just 18-16 ATS at home this year and 31-30 ATS as favorites, making a 10-point spread rather hard to digest.
Trail Blazers vs Celtics Over/Under analysis
With a bit of a dip defensively, the Over has cashed now in three of the last four Celtics games, and eight times in their last 11. On the other hand, the Under is now 4-1 over the last five games for the Blazers due to the sportsbooks compensating for their poor defense.
Portland ranks just 17th in Pace over the last five games, and Boston sits 26th, making this one a rather confusing total to bet. With that said, the Blazers are 26th in defense over the same span, and Boston is 13th. With that, I’d probably lean towards the Over.
The Celtics are simply not the same team defensively without Williams, and up against one of the strongest offenses in basketball, they should be minced meat. On the other hand, I do think there’s a bit more run-and-gun to the Celtics these days with the defense crumbling a bit. Their 96.66 Pace rating is higher than their 99.16 for the season, after all.
Helping out the cause for a high-scoring game, 67% of the bets and 83% of the handle at DraftKings are on the Over.
Trail Blazers vs Celtics betting trend to know
The Over is 22-11-1 in Celtics home games this season. Find more NBA betting trends for Trail Blazers vs. Celtics.
Trail Blazers vs Celtics game info
|TD Garden, Boston, MA
|Wednesday, March 8, 2023
|7:30 p.m. ET
|Root Sports, NBC Sports Boston