Following a lengthy nine-day layoff the Boston Celtics will look to continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings Friday, returning to action in Utah where they take on the Jazz as one-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by

Boston entered the All-Star break as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, posting straight-up wins in 13 of its past 17 games to move into sole possession of third place in the conference ahead of Friday’s Celtics vs. Jazz betting matchup at EnergySolutions Arena.

The Celtics have been firing on all cylinders during their current tear, tallying 110 or more points in 13 of their past 18, improving them to an Eastern-best 105.7 points per game.

Boston has also regularly surrendered big point totals, allowing 110 or more on seven occasions during that same stretch, forcing the point total OVER in 12 of its past 19 outings, including each of its past three.

However, the Celtics continue to be a darling at the sportsbooks, posting against the spread wins in nine of their past 12 overall, but are just 4-7-1 ATS in their past 12 on the road, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Jazz return home after wrapping up a four-game road trip with a 103-89 defeat against the Washington Wizards on Thursday night as slim one-point underdogs, their second straight loss following an impressive seven-game SU win streak that returned them to playoff contention in the Western Conference.

Utah has been a shaky bet at home over the past month, going 4-5 ATS in its last nine, and is just 2-4 SU this season in contests on home court immediately following a multi-game road trip. The Jazz are also a dismal 1-8 SU in their last nine meetings with the Celtics, including a pair of losses last season.

Following Friday night’s contest, the Celtics continue their western swing with a stop in Denver on Sunday for a date with the Nuggets, before wrapping up their road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

The Nuggets have been consistently paying out at the sportsbooks, going an impressive 12-2 ATS in 14 games ahead of their game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, and are 3-1 SU in their last four at home, all against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Timberwolves entered the break on a solid 3-1 SU run, including impressive SU wins over the Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, and claimed a 110-98 win as four-point underdogs in the Celtics’ last visit to town, in January of last year.

Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images