Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Predictions, Starting Lineups (1/2/24)

The dominant Boston Celtics (26-6) travel to face the surging Oklahoma City Thunder (22-9) this Tuesday (1/2/24). Get Celtics vs. Thunder moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction

For the bet to cash, both teams must combine for two made threes by the time the game clock hits 8:59 in the first quarter.

It’s a dream scenario for outside shooters in this matchup, as both teams struggle mightily to reduce shot quality from deep. Boston’s defense allows the third most open plus wide open three-point attempts per 100 possessions, while Oklahoma City surrenders the sixth most (via NBA.com).

Given the elite rim protectors involved, the Celtics and Thunder will likely be content to consistently launch from deep too. Chet Holmgren ranks second in contested shots per game, third in block percentage, and fourth in rim points saved per 75 possessions (via Basketball Index). Kristaps Porzingis, on the other hand, ranks seventh, twelfth, and seventh, respectively. Essentially, both seven footers can deter shots in the paint here, thus leading to three-pointers.

Boston’s offense needs no encouragement either, as they lead the NBA in three-point attempt rate. All five starters take at least four three-point attempts per game, and the Celtics own an above average 37.4 three-point percentage.

Oklahoma City only sits 20th in three-point attempt rate, but they compensate through their league leading 39.1 three-point percentage. Like Boston, all five starters are capable of knocking shots down from deep.

Overall, this matchup features two teams that thrive in three-point efficiency but struggle to defend the arc. Therefore, look for threes to fly here.

Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction: 2 or More 3PM in the First 3 Minutes (-115 FD)

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Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Best Odds

The Celtics are 3.5 point favorites in this matchup, but they have been weak on the road this season from a betting standpoint. Boston is 6-8-2 against the spread in away games, while Oklahoma City is 13-5 against the spread at home. It’s worth noting that the Thunder have covered in five straight matchups versus the Celtics.

For Oklahoma City’s +150 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they need to win here about 40 percent of the time. Otherwise, it’s a losing bet in the long run.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Luguentz Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Jalen Williams
C: Chet Holmgren

Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Injuries

Both injury reports are completely clean, so every player will be available in this clash of titans. However, the rotations may be slightly shortened given the potential playoff atmosphere.

Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Key Matchups

Chet Holmgren 3PT Shooting

Kristaps Porzingis loves to play drop coverage when defending the high ball screen, so opponents have found success by running pick-and-pops against them. As a result, Boston allows the seventh most made threes per game to opposing centers. Plus, they give up the most above the break three-point attempts per game, which can partially be attributed to the above strategy.

88 percent of Chet Holmgren’s three-point attempts come from above the break, and he owns a 40.9 three-point percentage in this area. He should see clean looks from deep, and Holmgren possesses the shooting chops to convert. If he starts out hot, then the prop has an excellent chance of hitting.

As a side note, taking Holmgren over 1.5 threes (-130 DK) and 3+ threes (+230 FD) are both tantalizing bets too. He has made two threes in five of his past seven games.

Josh Giddey 3PT Shooting

Josh Giddey started out the season in rough shape, but he is playing at a high level recently due to a grasp of his new role. Over his last 13 games, Giddey has produced a 38.3 three-point percentage on 3.6 attempts per game. Opponents are content to let him shoot, as 92 percent of his three-point attempts are classified as wide open. If Giddey continues to knock down shots at a respectable rate, then it massively boosts the prop’s hit rate.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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