NBA Odds, Picks, Preview: How to Bet Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics (Feb. 1)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Grant Williams
- The Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders.
- Facing Boston at any time is a tough task, but Brooklyn will have to do it tonight without both Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Nets vs Celtics Odds
|Nets Odds||+9 (-106)|
|Celtics Odds||-9 (-114)|
|Over/Under||224 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Looking at the Eastern Conference standings, this matchup between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets should easily be the game of the night.
Unfortunately, with Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons out for the Nets and the Celtics having their two best players, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both healthy, this game could get out of hand. The Celtics are eight-point home favorites looking to add to their league-leading 36-15 overall and 19-6 home record.
Kyrie Irving going back to Boston is always a treat for the Celtics faithful. He will have a tough task keeping this game competitive on his own against one of the league’s best defenses. Let’s find the best angle to attack this matchup.
Are the Brooklyn Nets finally figuring out how to play without Durant? They have won four of their last six games without the Slim Reaper after losing four consecutive games. In 11 games this season without Durant, the Nets have a 5-6 record as their Defensive Rating has dropped from 112.4 to 119.0.
Not only is Durant out tonight, but so are Simmons and T.J. Warren. Missing those three is a lot of production during the recent Nets winning streak. Now with a shorthanded team on the road against the best team in the league, it is going to be extremely difficult to stay competitive.
It will be up to Irving, who spent two years with the Celtics before forcing his way out and onto the Nets. The Celtics certainly haven’t welcomed Irving back home with open arms, which has effected his play. Last game in Boston, Irving finished with 19 points while shooting 8-of-18 from the field. He deferred to Durant, who scored a team-high 37 points, which isn’t an option tonight.
Irving has stepped up the most in Durant’s absence. In the nine games he has played without Durant, Irving is averaging 31.4 points and 7.2 assists while attempting 23 field goals per game. He has a 32.5% usage rate, so it will have to be the Irving show with a sprinkle of Nicolas Claxton dominating the paint.
After leading the league last season in Defensive Rating, the Celtics currently rank fourth this season (110.9), entering tonight’s game. They continue to also rank inside the top 10 in scoring defense as opponents are shooting 46.7% from the field. The game plan for the Celtics will be simple. Stop Irving and let the others beat you. A tough spot for the Nets against an elite Celtics defense.
The Nets have certainly struggled recently, but so have the Celtics. They lost three consecutive games before beating the Lakers in overtime in their most recent game. Not having Marcus Smart has hurt the Celtics on both ends of the court. He currently leads the team in both assists and steals this season.
Smart will continue to be out tonight, while Robert Williams is questionable with an ankle injury. The Celtics have already played 34 games without Williams this season. With the Nets not having a true center, it is not a big deal if Williams is unable to go. Al Horford and Grant Williams can hold it down.
Tatum and Brown are one of the best duos in the league. They are both averaging career-highs in points, rebounds and field goal percentage. Combined, they are averaging 58.1 points per game paired with a 64.4% usage rate. This duo is in a great spot playing at home against a depleted Nets team.
With Smart out, Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White have both stepped up in their own ways. Brogdon had a slow start in his first year with the Celtics, but has scored double-digit points in each of his last 12 games, while averaging 18.4 per game over that span. White has been more of a rollercoaster, but does provide upside as the starting point guard with Smart out of the lineup.
An eight-point spread is a lot of points, but in their last matchup with Durant out a couple weeks ago, the Celtics won by 11 points. Expect them to rely on their defense to finish off the weakened Nets again.
Covering an eight-point spread seems a little much even when the Nets are undermanned coming into tonight. Instead, let’s focus on the Nets team total and take their under 109.5 points. Even with Smart out, the Celtics can slow this game down and suffocate Irving and the rest of the Nets’ offense.
There is a chance this total could move depending on Robert Williams’ status, but I would take this under down to 108 points. The Celtics have struggled lately, but this is a great spot for them to bounce back against the Nets.
Pick: Nets under 109.5 points (Down to 108)
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