Boston Celtics vs San Antonio Spurs Preview (1/7/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Boston Celtics will look to shake the “only play hard when they feel like it” label against the Spurs on Saturday. Below, our betting picks and predictions are detailed, as well as the current odds, projected starting lineups, and relevant injury news. Let’s break it down.

Boston Celtics Vs. San Antonio Spurs Betting Odds

The Boston Celtics are 12.5-point road favorites against San Antonio on Saturday night. Boston has avoided any major injuries and has returned Robert Williams III, its defensive anchor, after he missed the first chunk of the 2022-23 regular season. The only player unavailable for the C’s is Danilo Gallinari, who has missed the whole year thus far due to a knee injury. San Antonio has not been as lucky as it will be without second-leading scorer Devin Vassell; he will undergo arthroscopic surgery in the next few days. Additionally, the Spurs have Josh Richardson listed as questionable heading into Saturday.

Boston Celtics Vs. San Antonio Spurs Prediction

The tank for Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson continues for the San Antonio Spurs, who have the fourth-worst record in the NBA through the first half of the 2022-23 season. After a bright start to the season, San Antonio experienced negative regression, which was to be expected.

However, the Spurs have quietly been a decent home team in the past few weeks, going 3-1 in front of their own fans since the day after Christmas. They would be 4-0 had the Dallas Mavericks not squeaked away with a narrow one-point victory. During that stretch, San Antonio put together a net rating of +5.6.

Even so, the loss of Devin Vassell, the Spurs’ second-leading scorer, is significant and will take a toll on the offensive output of this team. While Boston’s defensive rating ranks seventh in the NBA, it still has the best offense in the league. Meanwhile, the Spurs boast by far the worst defense in the NBA. This should be a Boston clinic from start to finish. Don’t let the spread scare you.

Betting Trends

  • Boston is 10-9 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • San Antonio is 10-9 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 41-33-3 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

As simple as it may seem, the elite Boston offense versus the morbidly poor San Antonio defense is our key matchup of the game. See why the Celtics should have no issue with the Spurs below!

Boston’s Elite Offense vs. San Antonio’s Awful Defense

Scarcely do we see the best offense in the NBA go up against the worst defense, but that is exactly what we have here. Boston ranks first in offensive rating, offensive efficiency, and points per game. Additionally, it holds the third-highest eFG% (effective field goal percentage) and eighth-highest 3P% (three-point percentage) in the league. In short, the C’s are a freight train offensively.

Meanwhile, San Antonio not only has the worst defensive rating in the league, but it also isn’t even close. As a matter of fact, the Spurs’ rating is one point higher (worse) than the next-to-last-place Pistons, who don’t even look like they are trying on that end of the floor, and four points higher than the 27th-place Utah Jazz. A four-point difference in defensive rating between 30th and 27th is a borderline incredulous margin. Additionally, the Spurs are allowing 121 points to opponents on 51% shooting from the floor and 39% shooting from deep. This game should be a double-digit deficit in the first quarter. Advantage: Boston’s Elite Offense.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineups

PG: Tre Jones
SG: Romeo Langford
SF: Jeremy Sochan
PF: Keldon Johnson
C: Jakob Poeltl

Key Injuries

Boston Celtics Injuries: Danilo Gallinari (Out)

San Antonio Spurs Injuries: Devin Vassell (Out), Josh Richardson (Q)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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