Our favorite Celtics bets for the 2022-23 NBA season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Expectations remain high for the Boston Celtics ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.
The defending Eastern Conference champions will look to return to the NBA Finals and bring home elusive Banner 18. With less than one month until the regular-season opener, they’re tied for the second-best odds to win the title (+600) with the 2022 champion Golden State Warriors. The Los Angeles Clippers are the slight favorites at +550.
Forsberg: Can Blake Griffin actually help the Celtics?
If you’re confident last year’s C’s success wasn’t a fluke, taking those odds might be tempting. From over/unders to player props and awards, there are plenty more intriguing bets where that came from.
Here are our favorite Celtics bets for the 2022-23 campaign (via DraftKings).
Celtics Win Total
Pick: Under 53.5
Taking the under here isn’t about not believing in the 2022-23 Celtics. Boston is undoubtedly talented enough to finish with the best record in the league. We’re just not going to take that risk after only two teams (Phoenix and Memphis) finished with more than 53 wins last season.
The Celtics already are facing a ton of adversity without having even stepped on the court for game No. 1 of 82. First there was the Danilo Gallinari ACL injury, then Robert Williams’ latest knee surgery, and finally the Ime Udoka suspension to top off the brutal offseason. The universe seems to be screaming at us to bet the under, as much as we may believe the C’s are ready to take another step forward after reaching the NBA Finals in 2022.
Pick: Over 26.9
Tatum averaged 26.9 points per game last season — a career high — despite seeing his shooting percentages dip slightly over the previous year. The 24-year-old particularly struggled from 3-point range, shooting a career-low 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
If those 3s start falling, Tatum should have no problem eclipsing that 26.9 mark. His points per game averages have increased each year since he entered the league in 2017. With the extra motivation to return to the NBA Finals and finish the job, we love the over here for Tatum.
Pick: Under 23.8
Brown will look to return to the NBA All-Star Game in 2023 after being snubbed last season. There’s a strong chance we’ll see him in Salt Lake City for next year’s festivities, but we’re still leaning toward the under for his end-of-season scoring average.
In 2021-22, Brown barely missed the mark with 23.6 points per game. He averaged 24.7 ppg, albeit through only 58 games played, during his All-Star campaign. That was his only season with more than 23.8 ppg.
You could make the case that Brown is ready to take a significant leap in Year 7, but he’ll need to be much more consistent to make that happen. He’ll also need to significantly improve his 3-point shooting to have a chance at the over. It’ll be close, but the under seems to be the safer pick especially if we’re banking on Tatum going over 26.9 ppg.
Robert Williams: Defensive Player of the Year
If Time Lord doesn’t suffer a torn meniscus near the end of the 2021-22 season, there’s a very real possibility he wins the Defensive Player of the Year award over his teammate Marcus Smart. Williams led the C’s in rebounds per game (9.6) and blocks per game (2.2) with that blocks number putting him second in the NBA behind only Memphis Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. (2.3).
Obviously, Williams will need to find a way to stay healthy. He hasn’t been able to make that happen so far in his young career, and he’s already off to a bad start this year as he’ll miss some time after undergoing another surgery on his left knee. But if that procedure helps him stay on the court this time around, you can bet Time Lord will be in the DPOY conversation again come next summer. That +1000 line is a steal.
Brogdon is embracing the Sixth Man role with Marcus Smart set to be the starting point guard in 2022-23. He enters the new season with the fourth-best odds to win the Sixth Man of the Year award, behind only Jordan Poole (Golden State Warriors, +450), Tyler Herro (Miami Heat, +500) and Christian Wood (Dallas Mavericks, +1000).
The key for Brogdon, like Williams, will be to stay healthy. The former Indiana Pacers star hasn’t played in more than 60 games in a season since 2018-19. He played in only 36 games last year due to injury.
It’s hard to imagine Brogdon not being in the running for the award if he’s able to avoid the injury bug. The prized offseason addition will be relied on heavily to be a spark for the Celtics’ second unit. Especially with Gallinari presumably out for the year.
Jayson Tatum 28+ PPG AND Celtics win Atlantic Division
Are you expecting an MVP-caliber season from Tatum in 2022-23? If so, here’s the perfect bet for you. Tatum simply has to raise his scoring average by 1.1 over last season while the Celtics edge out the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division. Is it a risky bet? Sure. But will it glue you to your television for every C’s game on the road to Banner 18? Absolutely.
At +370, we like the value for anyone expecting the C’s to make another Finals run.