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NBA Thursday April 11th Knicks at Celtics Betting Preview

Boston To Start Resting Players for the Postseason?

It can be hard to handicap the last weekend of the NBA regular season, and the April 11th Knicks at Celtics betting matchup is no exception. Boston (62-17) has clinched the best record in the NBA and may start to rest players for the postseason while New York (47-32) has more to play for in regards to their Eastern Conference seeding.

Boston has won 13 straight games at TD Garden, yet are still +2.5 underdogs on Thursday night. Do you pull the trigger on the obvious better team here, or is the line saying that the Celtics essentially “take this game off” and the Knicks cruise to victory?

Why the Knicks Have Value at -2.5

Oddsmakers must see something in making the Knicks a favorite on the road at TD Garden, literally the first time the Celtics have been home underdogs all season. Boston just got slammed 104-91 at Milwaukee on Tuesday as +3.5 underdogs, but they likely don’t care because this is a team with one goal in 2024 – an NBA Championship.

Aside from what the Knicks can potentially do on Thursday, this matchup really comes down to what the Celtics may choose not to do – and that’s play some key players. The Boston injury report is loaded with Jayson Tatum (knee), Jrue Holiday (knee), Jaylen Brown (hand), and Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) among the walking wounded so why would Joe Mazzulla risk any of those players with the postseason starting next week?

Even if Boston is somehow close to full strength here, New York would still be a solid play. The Knicks are just 1.5 GB of the Bucks for 2nd place in the East and you know Tom Thibodeaux doesn’t want to end the regular season 0-5 vs the Celtics. Oh by the way, Jalen Brunson has 35, 35, 43, and 45 points his last four games as well as 61 on March 29th vs. the Spurs so he’s not going anywhere.

Why the Celtics Have Value at +2.5

You almost just take a flier on Boston getting points at home for the first time this season, don’t you? The Celtics are 35-3 at home this year with their only losses coming against the Nuggets on January 19th and then defeats against the Clippers and Lakers over a five day span from January 27th to February 1st.

Brunson is on a heater right now, but something to remember is that his 61 point outing came in a loss to the last place Spurs and he also had 30 recently when the Knicks fell to OKC. New York also only went 8 deep in their rotation on Tuesday, not a great strategy this late in the season.

The Celtics injury report reads like a novel, but Tatum, Brown, and Holiday all played over 30 minutes in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Boston finishes the regular season with relatively easy contests against Charlotte and Washington, so they likely go for it on Thursday to complete the season sweep of the Knicks – especially after dropping three of four to New York last year.

Free April 11th Knicks at Celtics Betting Pick

This looks like a game where you have to just read the line. If this game was held on February 11th the Celtics would be -4 or higher favorites, but with the extenuating circumstances of this being the last weekend of the regular season the Knicks get the favorite tag. It’s easy to pull the trigger on Boston here, but the line says New York.

Free Pick: Knicks -2.5


Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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