Celtics vs Knicks Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: MSG Taken by Storm

The Celtics own the NBA's biggest net margin, and the Knicks are still weathering injuries while their key players log Thibs-like workloads. See why Boston won't waste any time putting the home side in a hole.

Feb 24, 2024 • 12:33 ET • 4 min read
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The relentless Boston Celtics bring a seven-game win streak to Madison Square Garden tonight — and it could be easy pickings against a short-handed New York Knicks team.

The Celtics are big NBA odds favorites and can pad their 44-12 record here. They cruised to a 129-112 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, with Derrick White and Jayson Tatum combining for 53 points.

It’s been a tougher road lately for the Knicks, who’ll again be without Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. But New York snapped a four-game losing run with a road win over the Philadelphia 76ers last time out as Bojan Bogdanovic went a perfect 6-for-6 from downtown.

Read on for my Celtics vs Knicks free NBA picks ahead of this Saturday, February 24 showdown.

Celtics vs Knicks odds

Celtics vs Knicks predictions

The sight of the Celtics losing 62-59 at halftime against the Bulls on Thursday was worthy of a double-take. After all, Jayson Tatum and co. have made a habit out of putting teams in a hole early and building big first-half cushions.

They led the Brooklyn Nets 68-32 at the interval in their last game before the All-Star break and also raced to a comfortable halftime edge in their two prior contests.  

Boston is top of the pile with a first-half point differential of +7.2 points this season — well clear of the next team, the New Orleans Pelicans with +5.5.

I see the visitors continuing that trend of strong starts here. The Knicks are missing 40 points of offense with Julius Randle and OG Anunoby in street clothes, and that puts a huge burden on Jalen Brunson in his matchup against Derrick White and Jrue Holiday.

It also helps that the Celtics are a terrific road team — 18-9 this season — and they’ve won their last seven contests away from TD Garden.

If these teams meet in the playoffs at full strength, we could get a classic series. For now, though, Boston is healthier and deeper. I expect the visitors to make that count in the first half and cover this small spread.

My best bet: Celtics first half -3.5 (-110 at bet365)

Celtics vs Knicks same-game parlay

Celtics first half -3.5

Kristaps Porzingis Over 18.5 points

Jayson Tatum Over 8.5 rebounds

Enough time has passed that Kristaps Porzingis’ return to the Big Apple isn’t the big deal that it once was, but there should still be a little extra spice at MSG.

Porzingis has averaged 24 points in his three outings against the Knicks this season, and New York is thin in the frontcourt without Randle and Mitchell Robinson. That should translate for plenty of touches for the Boston big man.

The Jayson Tatum rebounds prop has routinely been one of my favorites this year, with the Celtics’ top scorer making his presence felt on the glass.

He’s averaging nine boards per game this month, including a 14-rebound effort against the Nets on February 13, and I see him posting another big number tonight.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Celtics vs Knicks spread and Over/Under analysis

The Celtics enter as 6.5-point favorites tonight, and they’ve won all three matchups against the Knicks this season, including a 133-123 victory in December.

While Boston only covered the spread in two of its last nine games before the All-Star break, there’s no question that the formbook points to Joe Mazzulla’s men.

It’s been a tough February for New York, with a 3-5 record that somehow feels worse due to the injury woes. Still, the hosts are 19-8 at MSG, and there were signs of life in Philadelphia on Thursday, though it required monster minutes for Brunson, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, and Precious Achiuwa.

As a result, the visitors should be fresher, and the bench minutes from Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard could be a swing factor.

The Under was a winning ticket in three of New York’s last four outings, but the hosts will be hard pressed to slow down a Celtics team averaging almost 121 points per game.

In that sense, the line of 224.5 feels a little light. But that’s the type of game that would suit the Knicks, who are only giving up 110 ppg this season, and the Under has cashed in for 23 of New York’s last 31 games.

Something’s got to give, though, as the Celtics are an offensive juggernaut and have scored 125 points or more in five of their last seven contests.

Celtics vs Knicks betting trend to know

Don’t expect a shootout when this New York team is involved. The first-half Under has been a winner in 44 of the Knicks’ last 67 games. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Knicks.

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Celtics vs Knicks game info

Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET

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