The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Boston Celtics in a premier first-round playoff matchup. It’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Nets-Celtics prediction and pick.
This matchup was probably the worst-case scenario for both of these teams. A lackluster regular season led the Nets to a spot in the play-in tournament, and now they have to face one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in the first round. The Celtics are likely equally unhappy, as their reward for the second seed was a matchup with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. This series should be one of the best of the first round, so let’s get straight into the pick.
Here are the Nets-Celtics NBA playoff odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Playoff Odds: Nets-Celtics Odds
Brooklyn Nets: +4 (-110)
Boston Celtics: -4 (-110)
Over: 224 (-110)
Under: 224 (-110)
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Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
Brooklyn has tons of momentum heading into this game. They ended their regular season on a four-game winning streak and proceeded to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers with ease in a play-in game. Durant and Irving are both playing fantastic basketball, and the rest of the team is doing what’s asked of them. If the Nets had played this well throughout the entire season, they likely would have been a top-four seed in the East. With their two superstars looking borderline unstoppable, Brooklyn could beat anyone. It’s surprising to see them as such big underdogs in this game.
The Nets did lose to the Celtics three times in the regular season, but that isn’t much cause for concern. In two of those losses, Brooklyn was playing without both Durant and Irving. In the third, the Celtics barely eked out a six-point win on their home floor. With their entire roster healthy and on a huge hot streak, it’s very possible that we see a Nets win in this series opener.
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
Out of all the teams in the East, the Celtics match up the best with Brooklyn. The combination of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown gives Boston two players who can hang around defensively with Durant, and Marcus Smart provides an answer to Irving. The Nets don’t really have a scoring threat on the interior, making Boston’s lack of elite big men less important. The Nets should also have a hard time stopping both Tatum and Brown, as Durant can only guard one of them at a time. Matchup-wise, this is a good spot for the Celtics.
Home court advantage will play a big part in this game. The Celtics have been one of the better home teams in the NBA this season, earning a 28-13 mark on their own floor compared to a 23-18 record on the road. TD Garden is also a notoriously tough arena to play in, especially in a playoff atmosphere. Every single seat in the house will likely be full, and that should give the Celtics a huge advantage in this one.
Final Nets-Celtics Prediction & Pick
The Nets have to be the pick here. They’ve been on an absolute tear lately, and getting them as underdogs when Durant and Irving are this hot is a total steal.
Final Nets-Celtics Prediction & Pick: Brooklyn Nets: +4 (-110)