This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
The Celtics currently have the best record in the NBA at 38-16, but what will Boston's record be at the end of the 82-game regular season? Below, you'll find the over/under on Boston's regular season wins total, as well as arguments for why the Celtics could surpass or fall short of expectations.
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Betting the Boston Celtics Over/Under For Regular Season Win Total
The over/under on wins for Boston Celtics betting is currently set at 57.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Celtics would have to go 20-8 or better over the remainder of the regular season to hit the over.
At 38-16, Boston's winning percentage is .704. That winning percentage equates to 57.7 wins in 82 games, so the Celtics are expected to maintain their current trajectory. Of course, wins are ultimately measured in integers, and Boston's on pace to straddle the line of 57 or 58 victories.
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Why The Boston Celtics Could Go Over A Regular Season Wins Total Of 57.5
Boston can't afford to take its foot off the gas. The Nuggets, Bucks and 76ers are all within two games of the Celtics in the loss column. Should any of these teams surpass the Celtics, Boston would lose out on home-court advantage in a potential playoff matchup.
Advanced stats imply that Boston is the best team in the league, with a net rating of 6.2 while no other team is better than 4.0. This means the Celtics are outscoring their opposition by 6.2 points per 100 possessions. The net rating difference between Boston and the rest of the NBA is far greater than the standings difference, so perhaps the Celtics are poised to pull away down the stretch and finish with a regular season wins total over 57.5.
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Why The Boston Celtics Could Finish Short Of 57.5 Wins In The Regular Season
Boston's lead atop the NBA standings has been dwindling lately, as the Celtics are only 6-4 in their last 10 games. The absence of elite defender Marcus Smart (ankle) has likely contributed to the team's lackluster recent results. Boston also has the 11th-hardest remaining schedule, including three games against the 76ers and two apiece against the Bucks and Cavaliers, which are the teams currently occupying the second through fourth spots in the Eastern Conference standings.
Reexamining Boston's net rating of 6.2, there's also reason to believe that the Celtics are due to regress. The NBA's best teams typically have a net rating over 7.0, so Boston is the best of an underwhelming group but far from a juggernaut. Last season, the Jazz had a 6.2 net rating and finished 49-33. The Suns led the league in both wins (64) and net rating (7.5), while this same Celtics core produced a 7.4 net rating but only 51 wins.
Between Boston's recent downturn and the difficult remaining schedule, keeping up the current pace will be difficult. Even a minor slip-up could result in the Celtics dropping below the DraftKings Sportsbook regular season wins total of 57.5, so betting the under appears to be the more prudent move at this point.