Last Updated Oct 19, 2021, 11:00 PM

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Predictions, Odds, Picks

Oct. 20, 2021
Eytan Shander
VI Betting Expert

The Knicks are coming off one of their most memorable seasons in years while the Celtics would do anything to forget last year. Both teams convene Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN at Madison Square Garden.

Score Prediction

Knicks 108, Celtics 96

Best Bets


Knicks -2

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Predictions

The Celtics are looking to move on from so many negative things last year, from being riddled with injury and COVID cases to the departure/promotion of Brad Stevens. Ime Udoka gets a crack at leading a revived C’s team led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.

The team lost a couple of key contributors – including Kemba Walker, only to replace them with lesser talent – including Dennis Schroder. Boston will be better than last year, and look better against the Knicks, but it won’t be enough to stick with New York. Brown and Al Horford are both hoping to return after dealing with COVID-19.

The Knicks may have exited the playoffs early, but they established a new culture during the regular season. Julius Randle – and a couple of ex-Celtics in Walker andEvan Fournier – are going to handle everything Boston throws their way.

Boston has dropped eleven straight road openers and isn’t in a great position to snap that streak. It seems history is repeating itself as the team is once again dealing with two key players possibly missing the game because of COVID.

Enes Kanter and Horford came over to help mitigate damage from losing other players. The game comes down to Tatum being the best two-way player on the floor, taking over the game and dominating defensively. It’s a huge ask with so many new components around him. The Knicks defense didn’t get any worse, and the Celtics will have to get more offense from Smart and Schroeder.

The only key departure for the Knicks was Reggie Bullock – who impacted their defense way more than their offense. Both Walker and Fournier going up against their former team will have a little extra charge to this game, on top of it being in front of a sold-out MSG. By the way, Randle hasn’t lost a step.

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

Odds provided by DraftKings - Subject to change

  • Celtics +110
  • Knicks -130
  • Celtics +2 (-110)
  • Celtics -2 (-110)
  • Over 218 (-110)
  • Under 218 (-110

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Atlantic
  • Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • Location: New York, New York
  • TV-Time: ESPN - 7:30 p.m. ET

Boston Celtics Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

2020-21 Stats

  • SU: 38-40
  • ATS: 36-42
  • O/U: 40-38
  • ATS - Home: 20-19
  • ATS - Away: 16-23

Not only did Boston lose a combined 36.5 ppg from their backcourt, but also saw them slide over to the Knicks. It won’t be easy to replace that offense. It’s no simple task to slow down the Knicks new backcourt either.

Without Brown the Celtics might simply not have enough offense to keep up with the Knicks, struggling to break 100 points. Even with Brown, it falls on him and Tatum’s 26ppg last year to elevate Boston’s offense.

While Smart’s defensive prowess should keep the game respectably close, he may not get the required help from Schroeder. Unless Brown and Tatum are involved in every possession, this won’t be as close as advertised.

New York Knicks Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

2020-21 Stats

  • SU: 42-35
  • ATS: 46-30-1
  • O/U: 32-44-1
  • ATS - Home: 23-15-1
  • ATS - Away: 23-15

Randle leads a perfect combination of returning overachievers and new “motivated” veterans. Randle’s quest to move from Most Improved to Most Valuable begins at home with the Celtics. Randle dropped career-highs 24 ppg and 10 rpg last year.

Now he has help despite losing only one impact player on defense. RJ Barrett now steps in with a larger role to fill any void left with Bullock’s departure. Don’t expect the Knicks to purposely slow down the game. They may be good enough defensively to control the tempo, but they will push and try to outscore Boston.

The new pair of Knicks guards get the chance to kill two birds with the same bucket; showing up at home for the fans and sticking it to their old team. Both Walker and Fournier will help push the offense past Boston, even though Smart can neutralize one per possession.

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Head-to-Head

This is the first game for both teams and they didn’t play each other in the preseason. Last year’s matchups are so different than this season opener – mainly with the difference in players, right down to guys swapping teams.

It still comes down to star power but there is a slight edge with having two starters who played on last year on the other side. Robert Williams and Taj Gibson isn’t going to be featured on the marquee, but Williams might be able to exploit that matchup enough to help Boston.

Key Players to Watch

2020-21 Stats

  • BOS: Jayson Tatum - SF (26.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.3 apg)
  • BOS: Marcus Smart - PG (13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.7 apg)
  • NYK: Julius Randle - PF (24.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 6 apg)
  • NYK: R.J. Barrett - SG (17.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3 apg)


  • BOS: Al Horford - C (Out)
  • BOS: Jaylen Brown - SG (DTD)
  • NYK: Nerlens Noel - C (DTD)

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Betting Conclusion

The best thing to look at when betting a tight game like this is how many constants carry over from last year. Then try and balance that with how volatile any new player variables can be. The Knicks bring in a fresh backcourt that is automatically better offensively and allows them to play at a faster pace.

They don’t lose anything defensively and open the season where they saw only 213.2 total points scored each game. The under went 22-17 at MSG last season. The Celtics will have to rely on heavy volume from Tatum and Brown – assuming Brown plays.

They also added new players who are inconsistent on offense and bring little ability to defend outside of their listed position. The Knicks should win comfortably while being the only team on the floor to hit the century mark.

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Betting Trends

  • Boston has lost 11 straight road opening games.
  • New York has gone UNDER the point total in four straight home games.
  • Boston has failed to cover the spread in seven of its last eight divisional road games.

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