Suns vs Celtics Picks and Predictions: Suns Struggle to Stop Jaylen

Jaylen Brown's been doing his share of the lifting for the Celtics, and in tonight's game against the Suns, gets a much better defensive matchup than his partner in crime. See why our NBA picks are backing him to fill it up on Friday.

Last Updated: Feb 3, 2023 12:12 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jaylen Brown NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns will try to avoid falling down to the .500 mark when they embark on a five-game road trip, which begins with a visit to TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics Friday night.

The Suns were last seen suffering a blowout 132-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, while the Celtics demolished the Brooklyn Nets, 139-96, that same night. 

Will Boston backers be rejoicing by the end of the evening? Find out in our free NBA picks and predictions for Suns vs Celtics on Friday, February 3.

Suns vs Celtics best odds

Suns vs Celtics picks and predictions

The Celtics’ one-two punch of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has been strong all year long, but Tatum has clearly been the No. 1 to Brown’s No. 1-A. 

Tatum has Brown outpaced in points per game (31.1 to 27.0) this season, as well as rebounds per game (8.7 to 7.1), and assists per game (4.4 to 3.2). But Tatum might have to take a back seat to Brown in this one, setting up a golden opportunity for smart prop bettors.

Tatum — who has his points prop set at either 30.5 and 31.5, depending on your sportsbook of choice — faces a tough assignment in Boston tonight. He’ll be taking on a Suns defense that’s No. 1 in the NBA in points allowed per game to small forwards at 19.8, largely thanks to ace Mikal Bridges. 

While Tatum could simply will his way to another 30-point night (he’s averaging 32.8 ppg at home), it’s unlikely that head coach Joe Mazzulla will allow him to do that and potentially torpedo the Celtics’ chance to win on Friday night. Mazzulla is the frontrunner for Coach of the Year odds for a reason, and a smart tactician would center the Celtics’ offense around Brown in this one.

Phoenix is far less efficient at shutting down shooting guards, as they allow 24.8 ppg to the position – fourth-worst in the NBA. Brown is averaging just over 28 ppg at home this year, and has reached or surpassed 26 points in four of his last five overall, and 12 of his last 16 contests. 

My best bet: Jaylen Brown Over 25.5 points (-112)

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Suns vs Celtics spread analysis

Oddsmakers opened the Celtics as imposing 10-point favorites, with some sites even going with a 10.5-point line for starters. Most books have the line at 9.5 now.

It remains a big number to clear for a Boston team that was burning money for much of last month, but there are a few reasons why chalk-players should take the plunge anyway.

Most of the Celtics’ recent negative trends should be ignored, as they battled injuries at the periphery for much of January. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart has been sidelined since Jan. 21, and at one point, both Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III accompanied him. The latter two are back after missing multiple tilts in January, and helped contribute to a massive victory over the Nets to kick off February.

The Suns’ recent 6-2 run should be taken with a grain of salt, as all but one of those games came at home, and they needed overtime to dispatch the lowly San Antonio Spurs in their lone road affair.

Until Devin Booker is back in the lineup, Phoenix is difficult to trust against elite teams like Boston. 

Suns vs Celtics Over/Under analysis

Money has flooded in on the Under since it opened at 226.5, with action knocking the line down to 221.5 at the majority of sportsbooks. 

Though the number of tickets written on the total are split almost evenly, nearly 80% of the money expects this game to go below the number. That doesn’t make a ton of sense to this handicapper — perhaps the sharps were just taking advantage of an inflated number that’s long since disappeared. 

The Suns’ 8-17 SU record on the road has more to do with their lackluster defense than their offense. While their points for drop from 112.7 overall to 111.8 on the road, their points against rise much more significantly from 111.8 to 114.9. The Celtics — who go from 118.2 ppg overall to 122.5 ppg at home — should help Over bettors immensely. 

Both squads have exceeded the total in each of their last three games. The Suns are also 9-2 to the Over in their last 11 road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than .600, and have gone above the total in each of their last five games following a double-digit loss at home. The Over is 15-5 in the Celtics’ last 20 home games against teams with a losing road record.

Suns vs Celtics betting trend to know

The Over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Boston between these two teams. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Celtics.

Suns vs Celtics game info

Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Date: Friday, February 3, 2023
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Arizona, NBC Sports Boston 

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