The Nets stand at 22-13 overall and are 18-17 against the spread. Brooklyn is coming off a loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Spurs hold a record of 17-12 both overall and against the spread. In San Antonio’s last matchup. they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Nets-Spurs odds.
NBA Odds: Nets-Spurs Odds
Brooklyn Nets -5 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs +5 (-110)
Over 234 PTS (-105)
Under 234 PTS (-115)
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
Before their loss to the Mavericks, the Nets were red-hot.
Brooklyn had covered and won in eight straight, including four wins as underdogs.
Without Kyrie Irving, the Nets just didn’t have enough offensive punch to hang with the Mavs. Thankfully for Brooklyn bettors, Irving is expected to play tonight.
With Kyrie back, the Nets offense can go back to their usual electric ways. Brooklyn averages 120.7 points per game, the most in the league.
The strength of the Nets offense comes from beyond the arc. Brooklyn is second in the league in three-point percentage and seventh in attempts per game, often burying opponents with five-shooter lineups.
This creates a huge matchup problem for the Spurs.
For one, San Antonio doesn’t guard the three-point line well. The Spurs have allowed opponents to connect on 38.4% of their threes, the fourth-highest percentage in the NBA.
It’s likely the Nets bury a bunch of threes tonight, and the biggest problem for the Spurs is that they haven’t shown they can counter them.
San Antonio scores the eighth least points in the league and has struggled from the three-point line. They only make about ten three’s a game on 30 attempts, and both figures are bottom five in the league.
It’s hard to keep up with a Nets team that is going to be bombing from deep when you don’t make many of your own.
It’s a good bet the Nets win the three-point battle tonight. That alone has been enough to give the teams the win this season.
Why The Spurs Could Cover The Spread
San Antonio is not used to being significant underdogs, and have only been 5 point or more underdogs six times this season. In those matchups, they have fared well, going 4-2 against the spread.
The key for the Spurs tonight will be exposing the shaky Nets defense.
Brooklyn allows the fourth most points in the league, giving up 116.3 points per contest. The Nets currently hold the fifth worst defensive rating in the league, in contrast to the Spurs, who hold the tenth best rating.
While Brooklyn has been mediocre at defending the three-point line, the real weak spot for Irving, Harden, and company comes inside the arc.
The Nets give up a whopping 51.4 points per game in the paint, which is a good sign for the Spurs tonight. While San Antonio doesn’t shoot many threes, they have been efficient inside the arc, they are 12th in the league in field goals made in the paint.
On the defensive end, the Spurs will have to focus on walling off the three-point line. The Nets are nearly unbeatable when they catch fire from deep. Over their eight-game winning streak, they outshot their opponents from the three-point line six times.
To get the upset, San Antonio should stick to their usual game plan and avoid a shootout. There should be little resistance on the interior of Brooklyn’s defense, so if the Spurs milk the painted area and force Irving and Harden to shoot enough difficult jumpers, they could edge out a win.
Final Nets-Spurs Prediction & Pick
The Spurs are a fairly well-rounded team with eight double-digit scorers. However, they’ll be missing three of them tonight (Rudy Gay, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson) against a team they badly needed all hands on deck offensively. With a cumulative 37.5 points out of the lineup, I can’t see the Spurs keeping up with the offensive machine that is the Nets. I’ll take Brooklyn to win by double digits tonight to start another win streak.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: BKN 124, SAS 111 (BKN -5)