Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets Pick
Brooklyn Nets (20-21 SU, 22-19 ATS) vs. Boston Celtics (23-15 SU, 20-18 ATS)
When: Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 7:30 PM ET
Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BK +10.5/ BOS -10.5 (-105 at 5Dimes)
Power Rankings: Boston -10
Takeaways From Brooklyn and Boston’s Most Recent Games
The Nets extended their winning-streak to three games when they defeated the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City on Sunday night when they defeated the Bulls by a score of 117-100 to easily cover as a two-point favorite. The Nets have started off the New Year on a great note as they have yet to lose a game in 2019.
The Celtics enter into this affair on the heels of a two-game winning streak capped off by a home victory against the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Friday. The Celtics generated their second consecutive cover when they defeated Dallas 114-93 to cover as a four-point favorite. Boston has now won four games in a row at home.
How the Public is Betting the Brooklyn-Boston Game
At the moment, 54% of the consensus fancy the Celtics in this spot. The line has remained idle since the market opened.
The Celtics have been dominant against the Nets as they have won the last nine meetings between both franchises. This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The two sides last met in April of 2018 with Boston taking down the Nets by a score of 110-97 at home to pull an outright upset as a 4.5-point underdog.
Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is listed as questionable for this game as he sustained a scratch to his cornea against the San Antonio Spurs, last week. Boston forward Marcus Morris is also listed as questionable heading into this divisional contest as he healing from a neck injury. Morris is an essential component of Boston’s physical defense. On the Nets side, Brooklyn will be without both shooting guard Alan Crabbe who is nursing a hip injury and small forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who will be out until mid-January due to a strained right abductor.
Brooklyn Will Look To Keep It Close By Way Of Their Bench
The Nets strength lies in their three-point game as they hit 36.4% of their attempts from beyond the arc (7th in the NBA). This is quite an astounding storyline for this team considering that they sit in lower-third of the league in terms of field goal percentage (45.4%) and free throw percentage (74.7%). Brooklyn’s biggest asset in this game is their depth as they generate 46.6 points per game from their bench compared to Boston whose bench scores 39.2 points per game. This is a 7.4-point differential that can keep Brooklyn competitive in this contest and help them cover the lofty double-digit line.
Punishing Celtics Defense Will Look To Continue Business As Usual
The Celtics own several key advantages heading into this Atlantic Division bout. The most notable one is their defensive play as the Celtics are purveyors of a top-five scoring defense that allows just 105.6 points per game. Boston is also great at disrupting the shooting operations of opponents as they allow their counterparts to shoot a third-ranked 44.3% from the field and just 33.2% from three-point land (4th in the NBA). The Celtics also own an edge in the turnover department and generate 2.2 more steals per game than Brooklyn (Boston averages 8.8 steals per game to Brooklyn’s 6.6).
Outside of Boston’s impressive win-streak against Brooklyn there are two other key trends that have come to attention. First, Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings that took place in Boston. Secondly, the Over is 6-2 ATS in the last eight contests that have transpired on the Celtics’ court.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Brooklyn +10.5
Last season, the Nets finished in the basement of the Atlantic Division with a 28-54 record that placed them 12th overall in the final Eastern Conference Standings. On the contrary, Boston made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals where they lost in seven games to King James and the four-time defending conference champions the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though it is a new season, these narratives are still steering the public perception of both teams as the Nets were expected to be a basement-dweller here in the 2018-2019 season while the Celtics were the favorite to go to the NBA Finals in the pre-season. When you combine these narratives with Boston’s supremacy against Brooklyn, many will be inclined to go bet against the Nets here especially considering they have to travel up to Beantown to play this game. In a scenario such as this, the market will inflate the point spread to attract action on Brooklyn. This is where we step in. The Nets are in great position to shatter their previous season win total and perhaps sneak into the playoffs as a low seed. However, because the Nets are still on the come-up the public perception of them has not changed yet. We’ll take advantage while we can. The Nets with the points, especially at reduced vig, offers tremendous value here.
For the 3rd time in the last 4 years, the two most elite programs in college football will meet in the Playoff National Championship Game when the no. 2 Clemson Tigers take on the no. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide on Monday, January 7th. Sportsbooks have the ‘Tide as a seven-point favorite to win the title with a total of 59.5. CFB handicapper Jay Horne breaks down the game and gives his ATS prediction.