NBA Free Pick | Celtics at Nets

Written by superuser | May 20, 2021

NBA Free Pick | Celtics at Nets


Jayson Tatum’s 50-point outburst earned Boston a 118-100 victory over Washington in the play-in tournament and also earned the Celtics a first-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets are the favorite – at +225 – to win this year’s NBA championship when looking at online sportsbook betting odds. Despite being the No. 2 seed in the East, Brooklyn will enter the postseason with their Big Three – Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden – healthy and ready to go.

Boston looks to pick up the pieces of a rough end-of-season stretch, one that saw them lose guard Jaylen Brown (24.7 ppg) for the rest of the season. Will Brown’s absence matter in Game 1 at Brooklyn on Saturday?


Game: Boston Celtics (37-36, 35-38 ATS) at Brooklyn Nets (48-24, 38-34 ATS)

When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, May 22, 2021

Where: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York

Current Line: BKN -7.5         Total: 227.5

TV Coverage: ABC

Near the end of April, Boston capped a stretch of seven wins in eight games with a 99-86 victory over Phoenix. Then, the wheels fell off the bus.

Over the final 13 regular season games, Boston won just four times. A disappointing 102-94 loss to Cleveland as a six-point favorite kind of summed up the Celtics stretch run – awful.

Still, despite losing Brown to a wrist injury, Boston was able to regroup and beat a streaking Washington for an automatic berth in the postseason.

The problem for Boston will be defending what Celtics head coach Brad Stevens calls “the most talented team that’s been assembled since I’ve been in the NBA.” Indeed, Brooklyn’s 2021 offense was the most efficient – 117.3 points per 100 possessions – ever in the history of the NBA.

And, that happened with the Big Three playing together just eight times all season. Durant had a stretch of 23 missed games and Harden just recently returned from missing 18 games in a row. Even down a star or two, the Nets were still extremely productive. Being on top of these stats are ones that will help you win more NBA playoff bets.

Brooklyn isn’t just the Big Three. Don’t forget that the Nets have the No. 1 3-point shooter in the league. Joe Harris, who averaged 14.1 points per game this season, led the NBA shooting 47.5 percent from behind the three-point arc.

That is the second-best number (Kyle Korver shot 49.2 percent in 2014-15) in league history for players that attempted at least 400 threes. Before moving on, we crushed our OVER pick our last time out. Go read our Nets at Bucks free pick.

Boston and Brooklyn played three times this season. Brooklyn won all three meetings. They were favored in each game but never by as much at the 7.5 by which they are favored in Game 1.

The Nets also didn’t have the healthy Big Three. And then there is Boston without its second-leading scorer in Brown.

Favorites win over 60 percent of Game 1s in the NBA playoffs. Home teams win over 60 percent of Game 1s in the NBA postseason. Put the two together and add in a Big Three. The result? Brooklyn covers the 7.5 on Saturday.