Celtics Looking For Stability After Rondo Trade With Marcus Smart In Lineup


NBA: Boston Celtics at Charlotte HornetsThe Boston Celtics look to notch their second win since trading point guard Rajon Rondo when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Boston beat Minnesota the day after the trade, and has since lost two consecutive games straight up and against the spread, at Miami and Orlando.

Marcus Smart returned to the lineup the first game after Rondo departed, and will see his playing time steadily increase as Boston continues looking to the future.

The Celtics play three of their next four games at home, facing Brooklyn, traveling to face Washington, and then returning home to face Dallas and Sacramento. The Celtics are 7-8 ATS at home. As a home favorite, they are 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS this season, according to the OddsShark NBA Database. The Celtics hosted the Nets earlier in their season opener, defeating them by a final score of 121-105. That covered the spread and hit the OVER. When the Celtics have been home favorites this season, the OVER is 7-2-1.

The NBA has no games on Christmas Eve, but will have a full slate of Christmas Day action. The biggest game will see the 23-4 Golden State Warriors head down to face the 19-10 Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors are coming off a road loss to the Lakers, giving them two straight losses SU and their third straight loss ATS. Golden State has been favored in 12 of their 16 road games this season on the NBA betting lines.

The biggest mismatches of Christmas Day potentially feature 19-8 Washington traveling to face 5-25 New York, or the 8-19 Lakers traveling to face the 18-9 Bulls. Washington is only 11-16 ATS, while New York is 12-18 ATS, so we could be in for a more competitive affair.

The most high profile matchup will feature Cleveland traveling to Miami for the first time since LeBron James returned to the Cavaliers. Cleveland is 4-7 ATS on the road this season, and only 2-5 ATS in its last seven such games. Miami is 5-9-1 ATS at home this season. Aside from two straight covers last week, the Heat were 0-8-1 in their previous nine.

The NBA will have a sizable schedule on Dec. 26, with 11 games. The most notable features Memphis hosting Houston. The Grizzlies are 21-7 SU, but only 14-14 ATS. The Rockets are 20-7 SU and 15-12 ATS. These two have met twice this season, with the home team winning and covering, and the point total going OVER.

Photo via Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports Images

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