Kyrie Irving is expected to be on the court Thursday night when the Boston Celtics take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the final date of their current three-game road trip as 1.5-point favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Irving suffered a knee injury in the club’s visit to Houston on Saturday, sidelining him for Monday’s 105-89 victory in Chicago as 7-point chalk, but has publicly stated his intention to play in Thursday night’s Celtics vs. Timberwolves betting matchup at Target Center.
Irving has had an immediate impact in his first season in Boston, leading the squad with 24.8 points and 5.1 assists per game, and joins both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as a +2000 wager on the NBA MVP odds. However, the 25-year-old has turned in mixed results against Minnesota, averaging just 16.17 points per game in nine career games against the Timberwolves.
While Irving’s health remains a concern for Celtics fans, the club’s offense is not. Boston has scored an average of over 116.8 points during a 5-2 straight-up run, and has seen the point total go OVER in seven of its last 10 outings, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The Celtics have been uneven performers on the road of late, going 6-4 SU in their past 10 contests away from TD Garden and tallying consecutive wins just once during that stretch. The team also has struggled in recent trips to Minnesota, dropping four of five SU, but is unbeaten in three overall meetings with the Timberwolves, capped by a 91-84 win as a 3-point home favorite on January 5.
A 15-5 SU run starting in early December lifted Minnesota into playoff contention in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves have struggled with consistency since, going 9-12 SU over their past 21 games, and covering just twice in their past 10 overall, but are an impressive 15-1 SU in their past 16 home dates including outright victories as betting underdogs over both Toronto and Cleveland.
Following Thursday’s contest, the Celtics return home to face the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, followed by a visit from the Washington Wizards next Wednesday.
The Celtics dropped a 97-91 decision to Indiana as 4-point favorites when the two teams last met in Boston in February. That defeat ended a five-game SU win streak against Indiana and also dropped the Celtics to 4-4 SU in eight visits from the Pacers.
The Wizards remain in a dogfight with Indiana for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and open a brief two-game road trip in New Orleans on Friday riding a 7-1 SU run on the road.
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