The Boston Celtics head over to New York to face off against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. It’s time we continue our NBA odds series and make a Celtics-Nets prediction and pick.
The Celtics had a roller coaster of a season but made the playoffs after securing a 36-36 record, going 33-38-1 against the spread. After defeating the Washington Wizards in the play-in game, Boston is hoping to carry some momentum into game one against the Nets.
The Nets have been one of the best teams in the league after going 48-24 in the regular season and 38-34 against the spread. The star-studded cast in Brooklyn hasn’t been able to play many games together this year. However, they’re healthy and the Nets’ big three aims to dominate the Eastern Conference.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Celtics-Nets odds.
NBA Playoffs Odds: Celtics-Nets
Boston Celtics +8 (-110)
Brooklyn Nets -8 (-110)
Over 232 (-114)
Under 232 (-106)
Why the Celtics Could Cover the Spread
The Celtics are looking to make some noise in the NBA Playoffs. This will be a tough matchup, but Boston has the talent to keep every game competitive. They likely won’t win the series, but Boston can cover the spread here due to Jayson Tatum’s hot hand.
Tatum has been on fire since April as he’s carried Boston into the postseason. Averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, it’s clear the Celtics have leaned on Tatum this season.
His teammates are going to have to pick up their play in this series though for Boston to at least cover the spread. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier should provide a nice spark from the perimeter while Robert Williams can be a consistent big down low. Marcus Smart’s defense should cause problems for Kyrie Irving as well, which bodes well for Boston’s chances. Look for Brad Stevens to get creative with the game plan as he tries to find a way to bottle up Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
Why the Nets Could Cover the Spread
They have the best big three in the game right now. Durant is arguably the best pure scorer in NBA history, Harden is a triple-double machine, and Irving has the handles and layup package to control any game. These three should be in for a big day on Saturday night, as Brooklyn looks to secure a win.
Outside of the big three, the rest of Brooklyn’s roster is stacked. With guys like Joe Harris, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Nicolas Claxton, the Nets have the depth to go toe-to-toe with anybody.
The Nets just have too much star power for the Celtics to handle. In fact, the first game could wind up being a blowout, as Brooklyn is an eight-point favorite. When everything is rolling on all cylinders, the Nets look like the Harlem Globetrotters on the court. Look for Brooklyn to perform at their best on Saturday night.
Final Celtics-Nets Prediction and Pick
Jayson Tatum is exciting and the Celtics don’t have a terrible roster on paper. However, they’ve been inconsistent all year long, and with Jaylen Brown out of the lineup, their second-best scoring option won’t be there to help them out. Brooklyn’s big three should be at peak form on Saturday night and they should win this game with relative ease.
FINAL CELTICS-NETS PREDICTION/PICK: Nets win 128-105