We're set to bring you another installment of our predictions and picks series for this Monday night slate of NBA action. We head to the Eastern Conference for this next matchup as the Boston Celtics (11-2) take on the Charlotte Hornets (3-9) for a lopsided game on the betting lines. Check out our NBA odds series for our Celtics-Hornets prediction and pick.
The Boston Celtics are currently first in the East and they've won their last six consecutive games. Their last two games have been decided by a total of five points and they narrowly escaped defeat against the Grizzlies last night. They come into this contest as road favorites once again and will look to pick up lucky number seven in a row.
The Charlotte Hornets are fourth in the Southeast division and they've now dropped four consecutive games, losing six of their last seven heading into this one. They've been on the wrong side of some close games and ran into a streaking Knicks team their last time out. Now, they'll try to cover the spread and get the win as heavy home underdogs.
Here are the NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Odds: Celtics-Hornets Odds
Boston Celtics: -9 (-114)
Charlotte Hornets: +9 (-106)
Over: 232.5 (-112)
Under: 232.5 (-108)
How to Watch Celtics vs. Hornets
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Boston, NBA League Pass
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
The Celtics are continuing their “pick your poison” approach to their offense and during last night's win, Kristaps Porzingis led the way with 26 points and an extremely efficient night from the field. While they lost 17 turnovers as a team, their offensive production kept them in the game. The game hung in the balance with a minute to go in regulation and a Porzingis dunk turned out to be the deciding bucket. They've escaped a few close calls during this recent road trip and they may be in for another close game against the Hornets.
The Celtics can win this game by relying on their defense and stifling the offense of the Hornets. The Hornet are a very streaky team and can hold a scoring run during the game, but the Celtics will have to focus on playing consistent defense and not letting the Hornets find easy transition buckets. With the Hornets banged up with injuries, both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will see advantageous matchups throughout this game. If they can both turn in solid scoring performances north of 20+, there's no way the Celtics shouldn't cover this betting spread.
Why The Hornets Could Cover The Spread
Over the last two games, the Hornets have struggled mightily to stop high-level point guards on the other side of the ball. Two games ago, Damian Lillard balled out for the Bucks and sent the Hornets packing. During their last game, Knicks' Jalen Brunson was the main catalyst and notched 32 points on the Charlotte defense. In this game, the Hornets will have to tighten up the perimeter and force Tatum and Brown to heave contested shots. PJ Washington and Mark Williams will both be undersized when trying to guard Porzingis in the paint, so it may take a collective effort from their front court to stop the Celtics' big men.
On offense, the Hornets should look to run in transition and they may have to live by the three in this game. Boston's defense is too stout in half-court situations and the Hornets have struggled to find a slow-paced rhythm on offense. Look for LaMelo Ball to once again score the ball at-will as he had 36 points in his last outing. This time around, he'll look for support from Gordon Hayward as he faces off against one of his former teams.
Final Celtics-Hornets Prediction & Pick
The Boston Celtics have been involved in some extremely close games over the past week and this seems like the perfect opportunity for the Charlotte Hornets to catch them sleeping on the road. The return of Miles Bridges to the lineup will be an interesting development as he helps a ton in scoring the basketball.
The Celtics, however, will have much more length in this matchup and I think it'll become apparent very quickly with their play on the defensive end of the floor. The Hornets rely on streaks and shooting rhythm, so the Celtics could stand to win big if they're able to force them into some slumps. For our prediction, let's ride with the Boston Celtics to cover this spread on the road.
Final Celtics-Hornets Prediction & Pick: Boston Celtics -9 (-114)