The Boston Celtics kick off a four-game western trip Friday when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers as 6.5-point betting underdogs on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston will be without several regulars going into Friday night’s Celtics vs. Trail Blazers betting matchup at Moda Center, including Kyrie Irving, who remains sidelined indefinitely by a knee injury that forced him to leave the team’s 99-97 loss to Indiana on March 11.
The Celtics have gone 2-3 straight up without Irving, including their loss to the Pacers as 4.5-point home chalk, and also have been hindered by injuries to forward Jaylen Brown and point guard Marcus Smart. Brown remains out indefinitely while he recovers from a concussion, while Smart recently underwent surgery to repair a hand injury suffered two weeks ago.
Despite being hobbled by injuries, the Celtics rose to the occasion in their last outing Tuesday night, overcoming a nine-point deficit to escape with a 100-99 win over the favored Oklahoma City Thunder, ending a four-game SU losing streak as betting underdogs.
The Celtics also have emerged as road warriors this season, avoiding consecutive SU defeats while amassing an Eastern-leading 24-13 record. However, the team has turned in mixed results in recent trips out west, claiming victory in back-to-back games just once during a middling 7-8 SU run, but has posted against the spread wins in five of its past six.
Boston also has won and covered in four of six meetings with the Trail Blazers, including a narrow 97-96 victory as a 2-point home underdog on Feb. 4. Portland has emerged as one of the hottest teams in the NBA since that defeat at TD Garden, going 15-3 SU in 18 contests, including a dominating 13-game SU win streak, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Trail Blazers’ recent surge has ignited their NBA championship odds, which have soared to +4000, well ahead of the +30000 odds they sported at the All-Star break. Portland also owns a two-game lead over the Thunder atop the Northwest Division standings after opening the campaign as a +1800 longshot to claim just its second divisional crown since 1999.
Following Friday’s contest, the Celtics travel to Sacramento for a Sunday evening date with the Kings before heading to the desert Monday to battle the Phoenix Suns.
The Celtics have taken four of five SU from the Kings, but are a meagre 1-5 SU in their past six visits to California’s state capital. The club is 5-1 SU in six dates with Phoenix but has failed to cover in each of its past four.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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