Boston Celtics Odds and Predictions for the 2019-20 NBA Season
By Jerry Summer
| October 9, 2019
The expectations were high for the Boston Celtics last season, but the team failed to deliver. Kyrie Irving wasn’t the leader this young roster needed, and the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown took a step back in their development.
In the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season, Boston’s rising stars will have a new point guard in Kemba Walker. His influence on the rest of the team will be one of the key points in this Boston Celtics season preview, as the former Hornets franchise player seems like a good fit on paper.
I will also check the latest Celtics betting odds and share my predictions for the next season.
Boston Celtics 2019 Offseason Summary
Notable Players Out: Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris
Notable Players In: Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter
Let’s start with the Boston Celtics’ offseason, as it featured a couple of key transactions that will most likely change the face of the franchise.
The most obvious one was the departure of Kyrie Irving. The superstar arrived in Boston to become the leader of the franchise, but the plan didn’t work out. While Kyrie had some solid stats in the 2018-19 regular season, the rest of the team struggled, and the Celtics weren’t competitive in the playoffs.
Irving was often accused of being too selfish, and Tatum and Brown struggled to improve. They didn’t get enough of the ball, and many believe this was the main reason the Celtics failed to reach their ceiling.
By the time the offseason arrived, it was obvious that Irving would sign with another team as a free agent. He is now part of the Brooklyn Nets.
In the meantime, the Charlotte Hornets offered an unacceptable contract to Kemba Walker, and the Celtics took full advantage by snatching the star. This certainly looks like a match made in heaven, as Walker is known as a selfless playmaker who can both score and create for the others.
He should help Tatum, Brown, and the rest of the team improve. At the same time, Kemba has spent most of his career playing without much help. He will certainly relish the opportunity to lead a competitive team that can be a contender for the highest NBA honors.
While I believe the Kemba Walker move will improve the Celtics, the other summer trades concern me. The franchise lost veteran big Al Horford, who was a key piece in the last couple of seasons. He was an excellent two-way player with tons of experience.
The guy who is supposed to fill his shoes is Enes Kanter. The Turkish athlete is an excellent rebounder and decent scorer but can’t stretch the floor like Horford did. Additionally, he is nowhere near as good in defense. That might hurt the Celtics’ ability to protect the rim. Other players will have to step up.
The Boston Celtics’ other potential problem after this summer is their loss of depth. Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, and Aron Baynes are gone. While none was among the key pieces of the team, they did all contribute in the past couple of seasons.
Boston Celtics 2019-20 Offense Analysis
The Celtics’ offense should be completely different than last season. Kyrie Irving’s heavy iso style will be replaced by the team-oriented playmaking of Kemba Walker. The new point guard is a prolific scorer, but he will also create a lot of shots for the rest of the team.
The main beneficiaries will likely be Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward. They are all solid offensive players that can shoot from the outside but also drive to the basket. The only guy that will be operating almost exclusively under the rim is Enes Kanter.
The overall feeling is that the Celtics’ projected starting lineup should comfortably score a bunch of points in 2019-20 if Walker manages to get the best out of the youngsters.
I’m not so sure that the bench will contribute much, but that won’t be required if the starters do their job. Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis will be the players that are supposed to help because the rest of the roster lacks the experience to be consistent enough.
My overall feeling is that the Celtics should do well most of the season but might struggle when they rely on the bench. This might not be an issue during the regular season, but the NBA playoffs are another story.
Boston Celtics 2019-20 Defense Analysis
The strong defense was one of the Boston Celtics’ main advantages in the past couple of seasons, but I’m not sure if they can reach the same level without Al Horford. Their new starting big Enes Kanter is a liability on this end of the court and has nowhere near Horford’s defensive IQ.
The likes of Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum are hardly the strongest defenders either, while Kemba Walker is undersized. The only starter that is a beast in defense is Jaylen Brown.
While I trust that Brad Stevens will once again install solid discipline, I don’t think he has the pieces to reach the heights of 2017-18.
The good news is that he has Marcus Smart on the bench, and he is excellent in defense. The guard should receive a lot of minutes, and I won’t be surprised to see him on the court in crunch time on a regular basis during the 2019-20 NBA season.
Smart is one of the best two-way sixth men in the whole league, and he certainly is one of the keys to success for this team, especially in defense.
Boston Celtics 2019-20 Expectations
I believe that we will see a slightly stronger Boston Celtics team in 2019-20, mostly because of the arrival of Kemba Walker. The point guard should be able to transform the offense, and we could very well see the best of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Another guy that could improve is Gordon Hayward. We haven’t seen his old self since his horrific injury, but I believe he might be up for a solid season. There will be lower expectations from the forward, which is always good for a player that is struggling with confidence.
The main issues I see are the expected dip in the defensive performance and the lack of experience and quality on the bench. They will both hurt the Celtics in the playoffs, although not so much in the regular season.
Considering the state of the NBA Eastern Conference, the team should comfortably qualify for the post-season. I think that a top three seed is achievable, but the question is what happens after that.
The first round of the playoffs should be winnable, but that’s where I see the end of the road for the Celtics. The likes of the Bucks and the 76ers are simply better right now.
Expected Wins During the Regular Season: 50
Playoffs Prediction: Second Round
X-Factor: Gordon Hayward
Boston Celtics 2019-20 Betting Odds and Predictions
It’s time to explore the betting angle and check out the available Celtics futures and props for the upcoming season.
Boston Celtics Regular Season Total Wins
Under 48.5 Wins-110
Over 48.5 Wins-110
Let’s start with the regular season total wins offered by BetOnline.ag. It seems like the bookmaker has slightly lower expectations than mine, as the line is set at 48.5 victories. I think that the Boston Celtics’ starting lineup is strong enough to cover it, so the price of -110 for the over is not a bad choice.
Other Boston Celtics Futures for 2019-20
Boston Celtics to Win the Atlantic Division+350
Boston Celtics to Win the Eastern Conference+700
Boston Celtics to Win the NBA Championship+1600
I don’t really think the Celtics can compete for the conference title or the NBA Championship. There are at least two teams that are clearly better in the East and a couple more in the West, so even the juicy odds are not enough of a reason to go after any of those options.
However, the price of +350 for the Celtics to finish first in the Atlantic Division is worth some attention. The main favorite here are the Philadelphia 76ers, but their main stars are known for their injury issues. We could very well see Embiid on limited minutes throughout the regular season.
As for the rest of the division, the Nets will be without Durant for the upcoming year, the Raptors won’t be the same without Kawhi and Danny Green, while the Knicks… well, they are the Knicks.
I expect a difference of 2-3 wins between the Celtics and the 76ers under normal circumstances, so it will take little for that to change. An injury to a key player, a good run from the young guns… there are many plausible scenarios in which the Celtics end up winning the Atlantic Division.
The price of +350 seems good enough under the circumstances.
I really like this Celtics team, and I think they have enormous potential in the long run, but they are a bit behind the best in the NBA right now. We will find out if that’s the case soon, and I will be following the season with interest.
The same applies to my fellow writers. We will do our best to provide a constant flow of updates and betting predictions.
You can find more in our special Boston Celtics team guide, which we update throughout the season, so make sure to check it regularly for the latest Celtics predictions and content.
In the meantime, feel free to share your own opinion on the Celtics and their chances for the 2019-20 NBA season.