The Boston Celtics will be trying to end a two-game slide that has dumped them into sixth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings when they return to action Wednesday with a road date against the surging San Antonio Spurs.
Boston is coming off consecutive losses to the Toronto Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder that dropped the club’s record to just 13-11 ahead of Wednesday night’s matchup at AT&T Center.
The Celtics’ recent struggles with consistency began with a 109-103 loss to the Spurs as 3-point underdogs on Thanksgiving weekend. Boston is 4-5 SU and against the spread in a nine-game stretch starting with that defeat, but has enjoyed success on the road, going 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five games away from TD Garden.
However, the Celtics have failed to rise to the occasion against teams with winning records, going winless SU in their past five, 2-3 ATS.
Boston blew an eight-point halftime lead over Toronto in a 101-94 loss to the Raptors as 2 1/2-point home chalk Friday night, and followed up with a 99-96 loss to the Thunder on Sunday, narrowly covering as 3 1/2-point road underdogs.
The club’s struggles against stiff competition has not gone unnoticed at the sportsbooks, where they have been displaced by the Raptors as favorites to win the Atlantic Division and have tumbled to +3300 on the NBA championship odds after opening the campaign at a competitive +1800.
Things get no easier this week as the team looks to end a 10-game SU losing streak against San Antonio, including four straight road losses, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Spurs are coming off a crushing 130-101 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, easily covering as 15 1/2-point home chalk, to improve to 19-5 SU, second only to the Golden State Warriors in the league standings.
But San Antonio has failed to produce at the sportsbooks, covering in just two of its past seven contests, and is just 3-7 ATS in 10 home dates this season.
Following Wednesday night’s contest, the Celtics return home to face the Charlotte Hornets on Friday before embarking on a three-game road trip next week. The 14-11 Hornets have carried over last season’s strong finish and open the week atop the Southeast Division standings.
Charlotte visits TD Garden as part of a five-game road trip that began with a 116-105 loss in Cleveland as 7 1/2-point underdogs on Saturday. The Hornets followed up with 110-94 loss in Indiana as 1 1/2-point road chalk on Monday, but have held the edge in recent trips to Boston, going 3-2 SU and ATS in their past five.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images
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