Nets vs. Celtics Odds, Picks
|Nets odds||+9 [BET NOW]|
|Celtics odds||-9 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+325/-400 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||226.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Brooklyn pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in recent NBA memory yesterday with a 119-116 win over the Milwaukee Bucks; the Nets were 19-point underdogs.
They pulled off the feat without their three best players in the bubble (Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert), who missed the game due to injury/rest. With that victory, the Nets boosted their ATS record in the bubble to 2-1 and also increased their lead to eight games over the Washington Wizards for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Boston is coming off a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat and has been inconsistent since arriving in Orlando. Both teams will be playing on back-to-backs, which leaves a certain level of uncertainty for bettors who are looking to handicap this game.
Keep an eye on the Nets’ news for today. We haven’t gotten word on their three main guys, but we’ll keep things updated here.
Without those guys yesterday, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led the Nets with 26 points, but the real leader who has emerged lately is Chris Chiozza.
The second-year point guard has become the floor general of the Nets in the absence of Kyrie Irving. Give credit to interim head coach Jacques Vaughn for finding a good role for Chiozza, who isn’t in the starting lineup but is still playing 30-plus minutes. He’s gotten into the closing lineups, too.
Chiozza is an exceptional passer with great court vision and is able to use his quickness on opposing guards to slice through defenses and find open teammates.
With the Nets down so many of their important players, Chiozza’s ability to put his teammates in the best possible position to score has really opened up their offense and allowed them to stay competitive. In the last two Nets wins, Chiozza has averaged 12 points and eight assists, along with an impressive +25 plus-minus in more than 50 minutes of game action.
That said, the Nets’ style of play may lead to trouble against a Celtics team that is very good at using their athletic wings at the point of attack and disrupting offensive flow. If Chiozza is not able to set up players like Garrett Temple and Rodions Kurucs, the Nets will be heavily reliant on mostly LeVert to create.
The Celtics have been one of the more perplexing teams in the bubble. With their loss to the Heat, Boston’s lead for the 3-seed in the East has dwindled to just 1.5 games over Miami, making this contest against the Nets very important for seeding.
Boston has struggled to get into a groove offensively, and a lot of that has to do with Kemba Walker’s restrictions and knee injury. The Celtics reported that they’ll hold him out of tonight’s matchup.
Walker’s absence will force the Celtics to rely more on Marcus Smart at point guard. While Smart is a capable ball-handler, he does not possess the same passing instincts as Walker, which could lead to a lot more isolation basketball from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
A big key for the Celtics will be their ability to protect the basketball, as they had an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers in their loss to the Heat.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Nets and their ability to score the basketball, this should be a great opportunity for the Celtics to get back to their pestering style of defense and slow down Chiozza and LeVert with their size and length. The Celtics are still fifth in the NBA with a Defensive Rating of 106.8.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Celtics come into this game needing it a lot more than the Nets, and that motivation edge could make a big difference. Boston has been one of the more consistent teams the entire season against the spread (ATS) with a record of 44-23, including a 7-3 record ATS the second night of back-to-backs.
The PICK: Celtics -9