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How to handle betting on Suns-Celtics

The Suns have a good shot at upsetting the Celtics at TD Garden on Saturday.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton reacts against the Orlando Magic in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Phoenix Suns (17-24) will visit the Boston Celtics (27-13) on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Phoenix is 4-4 in 2020 and sits a few spots back from the eighth seed in the Western Conference. It’s looking to get a quality win against a Boston squad that’s third in the Eastern Conference.

Both sides are dealing with injuries to starters entering this contest. The Suns’ Kelly Oubre is set to miss his second straight game with a concussion. The Celtics, on the other hand, have Kemba Walker (knee soreness) listed as questionable and and will be without Jaylen Brown (thumb). That covers all the major injuries, so let’s take a look at some lines on DraftKings Sportsbook:

Suns vs. Celtics spread, over/under, money line

Spread: Suns (+6.5)
Over/Under: 223
Moneyline: Suns (+210), Celtics (-250)

Phoenix is the underdog on paper, but I think this game has the makings of an upset. With Brown out, Boston loses significant offensive firepower. If Walker sits as well, the Celtics will lose even more scoring and playmaking. Marcus Smart can only fill in for one of these players, and that means either Devin Booker or Ricky Rubio will benefit from mismatches. Jayson Tatum is the clear focal point of the offense and shouldn’t have a problem getting going, but Deandre Ayton is running hot after scoring 26 points and grabbing 21 rebounds against the New York Knicks. His matchups against Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter seem favorable — especially since Detroit Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya exploded for 24 points and handed the Celtics a loss in TD Garden earlier this week. The O/U should hit here, and Phoenix has a good shot at finishing on top.

Prediction: Suns 115, Celtics 110

Money line and total points 223.5: Suns and over (+500)

Phoenix’s top scorers could benefit from several mismatches. However, the Suns also won’t have an answer for Tatum defensively. Both sides should score plenty, but the visiting team has more firepower this time.

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