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Suns vs. Celtics Prediction: Can Phoenix Exact Revenge?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 14, 2024
10 min read

The Phoenix Suns (38-27) have the chance to avenge a weekend loss to the Boston Celtics (51-14) when the two meet in a rematch in Boston on Thursday evening.

The Suns are a devastating offensive force at their best but have been mired at times by injuries and inconsistencies in their starting lineup. They’re just 5-5 over their last 10 games and recently fell to the seventh seed in the Western Conference, putting them in danger of needing to traverse the Play-In Tournament if they want to reach the playoffs.

The Celtics have been the best team in basketball since the start of the season and are now just trying to stay healthy and build momentum by beating other contenders. They won three straight and 14 of their last 16, all while being a ridiculous 29-3 at home.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Suns vs. Celtics showdown.

Suns vs Celtics Prediction

Suns vs. Celtics Betting Odds for Thursday, March 14

The Suns are 25-38-2 (39.7%) against the spread, the second-worst mark in the league. They’re also 6-5 (54.6%) ATS as a road underdog and only covered twice in their last 10 games.

The C’s are 33-29-3 (53.2%) ATS and 18-14 (56.3%) ATS as a home favorite. They covered in three straight (including their last meeting against the Suns) and in nine of their last 12 games.

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Phoenix Suns +5.5 (-105) +200 Over 227.5 (-110)
Boston Celtics -5.5 (-115) -250 Under 227.5 (-110)

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Suns vs. Celtics Prediction

Phoenix Suns Preview

The Suns were constructed with the goal of forming the most unstoppable offense in basketball. The results thus far speak for themselves, as their starting five of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Jusuf Nurkic, and Grayson Allen has an offensive rating of 128.6, the second-highest of any five-man lineup with at least 200 minutes played together (behind the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting five).

For comparison, the 128.6 rating is five spots and 7.1 points per 100 possessions better than Boston’s.

Although Phoenix doesn’t defend at the same level Boston does, their starting five’s net rating is still ahead by +0.8.

All that said, the Suns have not been anywhere near their best recently. They rank 13th in offensive and 17th in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break, giving them an average scoring differential of +0.2 points per 100 possessions. However, they’re about a half-point per 100 possessions better on the road than they are at home over the course of the season.

The team ranks seventh in rebound rate but was also 24th in turnover percentage over the last few weeks. Some of those turnover problems were apparent against teams with aggressive perimeter defenses such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, though Boston forces the fewest turnovers per game.

Phoenix is average at defending the three-point line and ranked 12th in three-point shooting percentage (36.6%) since the All-Star Game.

Durant put up 45 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists but also had six turnovers when these two teams met on Saturday. Booker did not play, and Beal scored 25 points.

Boston Celtics Preview

Boston is dominant in nearly every statistic and category.

From a basic perspective, they have the most versatile starting lineup both offensively and defensively. They also take and make so many threes (first in both) that they’re often able to submit their opponents without ever having to get out of second gear.

As prominent as the three-point shot is in the Celtics’ game plan, they’re also great at getting downhill and hunting mismatches. They average the most points per possession off a screen and second-most points per possession on post-ups, many of which involve Kristaps Porzingis singling out a smaller body and backing them into the lane.

Not only has Boston been outstanding since October, but they have been even better recently. Their +17.5 net rating is far and away the best in the league, and their offensive rating of 126.9 is more than six points clear of the second-place Denver Nuggets.

The most impressive part of the Celtics’ forceful campaign is they’ve remained a tremendous rebounding and defensive team, most importantly holding opponents to just 34.8% shooting from three—the second-lowest mark in basketball.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 56 points when the two met on Saturday, while Porzingis did not play and will not feature again on Thursday.

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Suns vs. Celtics Betting Pick

The Suns have the ceiling to keep this game close. The question is whether or not they will be able to execute that on the road amid Boston’s best stretch of basketball of the entire year.

The Porzingis loss is massively important. His size, skillset, and distance shooting make him a matchup nightmare and enable so much of what Boston does on both ends. It’s also important to remember how well Durant played when these two met, and that was without his usual initiator, Booker, helping him run the offense.

We wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Celtics win this game, but the Suns should be able to keep the game close enough to cover given their offensive firepower and Porzingis’ absence.

How to Watch Suns vs. Celtics on 3/14/24

  • When: Thursday @ 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

  • TV: TNT

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

480 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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