Game Time: 7:30 pm ET, Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Where to Watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Celtics +1.5, Knicks -1.5; Over/Under: 215 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Celtics +1, Knicks -1; Over/Under: 216 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Celtics +1, Knicks -1; Over/Under: 216 points
Boston Celtics: 0-0 (Atlantic Division)
New York Knicks: 0-0 (Atlantic Division)
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Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks Preview and Analysis
Boston Celtics: N/A
New York Knicks: N/A
Boston Celtics Analysis
The Celtics are coming into this game after a rough season last year. They finished the regular season in 7th place of the Eastern Conference with a 36-36 record overall. They made it to the playoffs but they did not get very far as they were eliminated in the first round by the Brooklyn Nets losing that series 4-1. This will be their season opener against the Knicks. They have played in 4 preseason games this year and they have won 2 of those games. Their starting lineup will be Dennis Schroder at Point Guard, Marcus Smart at Shooting Guard, Jaylen Brown at Small Forward, Jayson Tatum at Power Forward, and Robert Williams III at Center. Al Horford was brought in from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Kemba Walker to relieve themselves of that contract and free up some cap space. Dennis Schroder was signed to a 1-year deal in the offseason to fill the void that Kemba Walker's departure left after he declined a deal from the Los Angeles Lakers. They also signed Enes Kanter and Josh Richardson for some bench support after letting Evan Fournier go in free agency. There is no doubt that this lineup has definitely lost a lot of it's offensive talent in the offseason but their focus was to strengthen their defense for this upcoming season. They still have their core 3 players with Smart, Brown, and Tatum but there will be a lot of new faces on the floor for this team as well in this game.
New York Knicks Analysis
The Knicks are coming into this game after a surprisingly very good season last year. The Knicks finished last season in 4th place of the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record overall. They made it to the playoffs but were knocked out in the first round losing their series 4-1 against the Atlanta Hawks. This will be their first game of the new season. Their starting lineup will be Kemba Walker at Point Guard, Evan Fournier at Shooting Guard, RJ Barrett at Small Forward, Julius Randle at Power Forward, and Mitchell Robinson at center. The big signing for the Knicks this offseason was Kemba Walker and picking up free agent Evan Fournier, who left the Celtics, was a great addition as well to boost their starting lineup. They also brought back a lot of players from last year for bench depth and support roles such as Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks. They already had a great season last year and have now improved their team even more with their moves in the offseason. They are slowly building up a solid core here and should show some good results during the regular season.
Celtics vs Knicks Prediction
The Knicks made the right moves in the offseason to build their team up a bit better while the Celtics went in the opposite direction losing more talent than they gained back. The Knicks are at home here in this opening game of the season and will have the home fans on their side. The best bet to place in this game is on the Knicks to cover the spread here or on them to win the game on the moneyline.
Celtics Knicks Prediction: Our NBA Pick for Wednesday, October 20, 2021 (7:30 pm ET start time) is Knicks 110 Celtics 103.
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NBA Betting Trends
Boston Celtics: 27-34 O/U when the line is +3 to -3. 25-28 O/U as an underdog. 16-18 O/U as a road underdog. 19-24 O/U vs. division opponents.
New York Knicks: 35-15 ATS when the line is +3 to -3. 81-58 ATS in all games. 44-32 ATS when the total is 210 to 219.5. 28-14 ATS as a favorite. 18-9 ATS as a home favorite. 41-28 ATS in home games. 15-8 ATS vs. division opponents.
Boston Celtics: R. Williams III (C) Prob Wed - Knee injury. P. Pritchard (PG) Prob Wed - Nose injury. A. Horford (C) Out indefinitely - Illness. J. Brown (SG) Out indefinitely - Wrist injury.
New York Knicks: N. Noel (C) Doub Wed - Knee injury. M. Robinson (C) Prob Wed - Foot injury.
Players to Watch
Boston Celtics: Dennis Schroder is one player to watch in this matchup. He declined a deal from the Lakers in the offseason and chose Boston instead. It will be interesting to see how he plays with his new teammates here so look for him to make an impact in this game.
New York Knicks: Evan Fournier is one player to watch in this contest. He left the Celtics in the offseason and signed a deal with the Knicks and will now be facing his old team in the first game of the season with his new team. He has had some shooting trouble recently in the preseason so look for him to get right now that the regular season is here.
"You guys play through plays and move onto the next thing and let me be the guy that complains to the refs. But that's not the team we want to be and that's not who I am, so I don't want the team to start crying about every call." - Ime Udoka on benching players for complaining to the refs about their calls.
“Preseason is preseason. It’s actually made to make mistakes and to learn from your teammates and plays and stuff. Once the season starts you start to get into a rhythm. The main thing is to be yourself.” - Tom Thibodeau on Evan Fournier’s shooting troubles in the preseason.
PG D. Schroder
SG M. Smart
SF J. Brown
PF J. Tatum
C R. Williams III
New York Knicks
PG K. Walker
SG E. Fournier
SF R. Barrett
PF J. Randle
C M. Robinson
New York Knicks
Boston Celtics: Ime Udoka (1st season)
New York Knicks: Tom Thibodeau (2nd season)