Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz Betting Predictions

Celtics vs Jazz NBA
Boston vs. Utah, NBA Betting Predictions, March 16

The Boston Celtics are trying to regain the momentum they had entering the All-Star break after winning in Houston on Sunday. The Utah Jazz come to Boston on Tuesday trying to snap a poor run of form that has seen them lose three times in the last four games. Boston is a strong home team and Utah has had its share of struggles on the road, so the Celtics might be able to pull off the upset.

Celtics vs. Jazz Betting Odds

The Boston Celtics are as healthy as they have been all season long as they get set to host the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. The return of Marcus Smart to the lineup has brought a new life to the court for Boston as it tries to climb out of the hole it dug for itself with those early-season struggles. Utah is still leading the Western Conference, but the Jazz have run into some trouble over the last two weeks. Utah has lost four of six games entering Tuesday’s contest, and the Jazz have lost five of their last six games away from home.

The key for the Celtics is getting Kemba Walker going again after a second straight subpar shooting performance in Sunday’s win over Houston. When Walker is making shots alongside Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the floor really opens up for Boston and makes the offense much more dangerous. The biggest x-factors for Boston, though, will be Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams on the interior. They draw a tough matchup against Utah’s Rudy Goebert, but both will need to provide some rebounds and be efficient on their attempts in the post. No team has allowed more two-point attempts this season than Utah, so the Celtics have to make them count against the second-best two-point field-goal defense in the NBA.

Due to Utah’s dominance on the interior, this game is going to come down to the 3-pointers and how well both teams can shoot and defend the arc. Utah leads the league in 3-point attempts with nearly 43 per game and ranks third in the NBA by making 39.6 percent of those shots. On the other end of the floor, the Jazz are allowing the fewest 3-pointers in the league and surrendering just a 35.3 percent shooting percentage from long range. Boston does not take a lot of 3s, but the Celtics have been efficient when they do attempt the longer shots while it’s 3-point defense is slightly above average this season.

I’m a huge believer that momentum and confidence mean a lot in these types of games. Right now, Boston has that mojo going and Utah does not, so I’m going against the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey. The Jazz are 4.5-point favorites in this game, but that ignores their recent struggles on the road and how well Boston has performed this season at home. The easy bet based on this notion would be to take the Celtics on the moneyline at +166 odds at the basketball betting sites in New Jersey. However, I want to think outside the box for this matchup and try to find some value, so I decided to bet on the Celtics laying 3.5 points at +215 odds instead. In addition, I searched the NBA betting sites in New Jersey for a player-specific bet and landed on Jaylen Brown being the top scorer for +440 odds. Brown is coming off a strong shooting performance in Houston on Sunday and he scored 33 points against the Jazz when the two teams played in Utah a month ago.

Boston Utah
888Sport
+150 -182
BetMGM
+155 -190
FanDuel
+166 -198

My Prediction

Boston +4.5 points

The Jazz are favored in this game, but they are flying cross-country on just a day’s rest having lost five of their last six road games. Boston had its four-game winning streak snapped right after the All-Star break but then rebounded with a big win in Houston. The Celtics are healthier than they’ve been all year and it pays off with a big win.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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