The Boston Celtics (30-25) will take on the struggling Brooklyn Nets (29-24) at Barclays Center on Tuesday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Celtics have won their last five straight, most recently knocking off the Magic with a 116-83 final score. On the other side, the Nets are in the midst of an eight-game losing skid as they’ve been navigating some injury woes. These sides have met once this season already, with the Nets coming out on top 123-104 back in November.
The Celtics are favored to win by 7.5 points, with moneyline odds at -305 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Nets come in at +240, with the point total set at 215.
Pick ATS: Celtics -7.5 (-110)
Usually with the Nets being the underdog at home, it’d be a no-brainer to pick them to cover the spread, especially when it’s as high as 7.5 points. But this isn’t an ordinary circumstance, as Brooklyn has been battling through injuries and absences, trying to put their best team on the floor all the while. They just got back from a five-game road trip, obviously losing all of them, while Kyrie Irving played in each one. James Harden (hamstring) has missed the last two, while only putting up four points in 37 minutes against the Kings in his last game.
While Harden is questionable for tonight’s game, Irving will be out as he’s not allowed to play any home games due to his vaccination status. Kevin Durant is also still out with an MCL injury, while they’ll also be missing LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) and Joe Harris (ankle). Nic Claxton (hamstring) is questionable ahead of tonight’s game.
Without so many of their preferred starters, it may just be too much for the Nets to overcome against a red-hot Boston team. The Celtics have won their last five, and have gone 5-5 ATS through their last 10. The Nets are 3-7 ATS in their last 10, failing to cover in both games at home through that stretch. The Celtics have been playing some solid basketball as they will look to overtake the Nets in the standings with a win tonight. Take the Celtics to win and cover.
Over/Under: Under 215 (-110)
While both teams are capable of scoring, the Nets will struggle without their best offensive players against one of the league’s best defensive teams. Boston has only allowed 104 points per game this season, good for fourth in the league. They’ve allowed an average of 94.3 points through their last three games, while the Nets’ season average of 110.8 skyrockets up to 120.3 through their last three. The Celtics’ offense doesn’t fare quite as well as their defense, averaging a No. 19-ranked 108.1 points scored per game.
Boston has only gone over the total twice in their last 10, while the Nets have done it four times. Expect this one to be relatively low-scoring between the two, especially with the Nets missing so many of their key offensive players.
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