Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Game 3 odds, picks and predictions
Seed #2 Boston Celtics (2-0) head to Barclays Center on Saturday for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with the No. 7 seed brooklyn nets (0-2). The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game is broadcast on ESPN. Below we take a look at the Celtics vs Nets odds and linesand make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
Boston kept home serve in Game 2 as they rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat Brooklyn 114-107 on Wednesday.
The difference maker in this series so far has been the Celtics’ defense for Nets All-Star PF Kevin Durant who averages 25.0 ineffective points on 31.7% shots (28.6% from behind the arc).
Boston also gets a vintage performance of C Al Horford who scores 18.0 points on 72.7% true shooting (.609/.625/.750) with 10.5 rebounds and a plus-37 net rating.
There’s a Celtics PF outside chance Robert WilliamsIII returns in Game 3 after a knee injury and Williams’ presence makes Boston’s defense even stronger.
Celtics at Nets odds and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; go to the USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds center for a complete list. Lines last updated at 11:25 a.m. ET.
- Silver Line (ML): Celtics +133 (bet $100 to win $133) | Nets -165 (bet $165 to win $100)
- Against the spread: Celtics +3.5 (-110) | Nets -3.5 (-110)
- More less : 221.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
Celtics to key Nets injuries
- PF Robert WilliamsIII (knee) questionable
- PG Ben Simmons (reconditioning) exit
Celtics vs. Nets picks and predictions
Nets 113, Celtics 111
Brooklyn should win Game 3 and return to this series, but the Nets (-165) are too expensive considering how tied these teams are. Instead of betting on Brooklyn’s Game 3 ML, I’d entertain sprinkling on the Nets’ adjusted streak price (+270).
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Against the spread
LEAN CELTIC +3.5 (-110) because I think the Nets win this game and usually the team that wins the game also covers the spread. Plus, you could credibly make the case that the Nets could be 2-0 with this Brooklyn comeback streak.
However, at the end of the day, the Nets are no better than the Celtics by 3.5 points before Williams returned, and if Williams plays, Boston’s defense is the best in the NBA.
The Celtics are scoring 5.9 more points per 100 possessions when Williams is on the floor and their offensive rebounding rate improves by 3.3%, according to CleaningTheGlass.com.
Boston is already grabbing nearly 10% more rebounds than Brooklyn in this series and if that gap widens when Williams plays, it’s impossible to pass the Celtics up for points.
On top of that, nearly 70% of the money is on the Nets (according to Pregame.com) but the line hasn’t moved from the opener and is even behind on some sportsbooks.
This line freeze tells me bettors are confident in their numbers and want more pro-Brooklyn action. Obviously, we don’t want to play into the House game.
It’s also a much more profitable location for Boston than Brooklyn. The Celtics are 16-4 ATS on the road against teams with a winning record. While the Nets are 6-14-1 ATS at home against teams above -.500 and 5-27-1 ATS as home favorites by a minus-7.6 ATS margin.
It’s only one SKINNY to CELTIC +3.5 (-110) because I don’t see Boston finishing this series this weekend and that’s what will happen if the Celtics go 3-0.
BET the OVER 221.5 (-112).
Both teams have a free throw attempt rate in the top 5 in the playoffs, Brooklyn is fifth in effective shots on goal and Boston is 10-7-1 O/U as road underdogs with a margin total plus-6.2.
The officiating team assigned for Game 3 also has a combined record of 130-106 O/U, which provides even more support for an Over bet since each team gets the charity strip.
The Nets would score more points if they attempted fewer long 2-pointers and hoisted more 3-pointers. Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash should make the Nets throw more 3-pointers because that would stretch Brooklyn’s defense and open up space for KD to operate.
the OVER 221.5 (-112) is my favorite bet in this game.
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