The Boston Celtics will tip off the 2016-17 NBA campaign amid high expectations Wednesday night, taking on the Brooklyn Nets in their home opener as heavy 13.5-point favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Celtics tallied a 48-34 record last season, claiming second place in the Atlantic Division standings for a second consecutive year.
However, key offseason additions including rookie forward Jaylen Brown and veteran center Al Horford have lifted Boston atop the Atlantic Division futures, where it’s perched as -105 chalk to claim its first division title in five years ahead of Wednesday night’s Nets vs. Celtics betting matchup at TD Garden.
Boston selected Brown with the third overall pick in this year’s NBA draft after the 20-year-old claimed Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in his lone season with the California Golden Bears. And while Brown represents a huge piece of the Celtics’ future, he will be surrounded by a veteran squad that now includes Horford. The nine-year veteran signed with Boston in the offseason after leading the Atlanta Hawks to a six-game first-round playoff series victory over the Celtics last spring.
The offseason addition of Horford boosted the Celtics to fourth on the NBA championship odds for the 2016-17 season at the sportsbooks.
The Celtics will gun for a third consecutive win in home openers, a streak that began with a 121-105 win over the Nets as narrow 1-point chalk two years ago. However, the team has produced mixed results in dates with Brooklyn since then, going 4-3 straight up and against the spread overall but 1-2 at home, including a 100-97 loss as 9.5-point chalk in the Nets’ most recent visit last January.
Following Wednesday night’s contest, the Celtics immediately leave town for two road games, with a stop in Chicago on Thursday night, followed by a visit to Charlotte on Saturday.
The Celtics dominated at home in 110-101 win over the Bulls last January, but have lost 10 of 12 at United Center, going 3-9 ATS. Boston has enjoyed more success against the Hornets, posting SU and ATS wins in its past three visits, but the C’s dropped a 114-100 decision as 7-point home chalk in their penultimate regular-season outing last April.
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