Nets vs. Celtics Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Brooklyn Nets face the Boston Celtics on Friday night. What once could have been considered an Eastern Conference Finals preview looks a lot more one-sided following thes departure of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Boston has been excellent all season, ripping off multiple nine-game winning streaks and never losing more than three in a row.
Boston got some momentum against the Cavaliers in their previous game, while the Nets have lost six of their past seven.
Let’s break down the odds and I’ll make a prediction for Nets vs Celtics.
In trading away Durant and Irving, the Nets lost top-end talent, but acquired a number of talented role players in Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson.
With a large number of capable NBA players, they could have raised their floor, if not their ceiling.
However, the floor has been the basement since the trade deadline. In a league that covets defensive length, the Nets additions have not fit as smoothly as one might have expected.
As Action colleague Jay Money hilariously pointed out on Action Network’s Buckets podcast, “These Nets are all wings. They got an eight-piece wing now. All flats.”
And that’s exactly what they’ve been on defense. Flat. The result isn’t the defensive intensity one might expect from a team with Nicolas Claxton, Ben Simmons, Finney-Smith and Bridges.
In the past five games, the Nets rank 28th in Defensive Rating (123.8), according to NBA Advanced Stats, and have the second worst Net Rating (-14.9).
A big reason is rebounding. The Nets are last in Offensive Rebounding Percentage (15.6) and 25th in Defensive Rebounding Percentage (68.8%) in the past five games.
Last season, the Celtics were defined by their stingy defense, which carried them all the way to the NBA Finals. This season, Boston has been all offense.
According to Dunks and Threes, the Celtics are second in Adjusted Offensive Rating (118), a stat that accounts for strength of schedule. They’re second only to the Sacramento Kings, who are having a historic offensive season.
Despite a few hiccups against the Bucks and Knicks, the Celtics have played well lately thanks to their offense. They’re 8-2 straight up and 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games. And that success has come from scoring the basketball.
Boston ranks fifth in offense (121.1) in the past five games, only scoring less than 117 points per 100 possessions in one of those games (a road loss to New York without Jaylen Brown).
I can only look to the Celtics or the over in this matchup. Boston is favored by 11.5 points. That’s too rich for my blood. And the Nets offense has been horrible, so I don’t trust them to help with the over.
So, I’ll look to play a combination of the two by betting on the Boston offense and fading the Brooklyn defense.
In the past three games, opponents are averaging 129.7 points per game against the Nets — the third-worst mark in the league, according to Team Rankings.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are second in the league to their team total over this season (21-11). In their past 10 games, Boston’s team total is 7-3 to the over.
Take the Celtics team total over to 120.5 or better.
Pick: Boston Team Total Over 120.5 or Better
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