The No. 7 Brooklyn Nets will play host to the No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers in the first play-in game out of the Eastern Conference. The two sides will square off on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Barclays Center. The winner of this game will advance as the No. 7 seed in the playoffs and will take on defending champions and No. 2 seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. The loser will head to another play-in game, taking on the winner of the matchup between No. 9 Atlanta Hawks and No. 10 Charlotte Hornets.
Let’s take a look at some of the best bets ahead of Tuesday night’s contest, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Nets vs. Cavs, 7:00 p.m. ET, TNT
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been a force to be reckoned with, and that’s only intensified since Irving has been allowed to play at home games again. The two combined for 55 points, 21 assists, and 17 rebounds in their 134-126 win over the Pacers on Sunday, with Irving going off for a team-high 35 points. The stats were flipped just last Friday when the Nets and the Cavs faced off the last time, as Durant went for 36 points and the pair combined for 54 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds.
The spread was exactly the same for that game on April 8, as the Cavs were 8.5-point underdogs. The Nets ended up winning that game by 11 points, covering the spread in the process. The Cavs look to still be without their All-Star center Jarrett Allen, who’s been sidelined for over a month with a fractured finger. While Allen has been working through recovery, it seems as though he may not be ready to go for Tuesday night’s matchup, putting the Cavs at a disadvantage heading into this game.
The Cavs are just 3-7 SU in their last 10 outings, and 3-9 ATS in their last 12. The Nets finished the season hot, winning their last four consecutive games. I think history repeats itself and we see the Nets win and cover at home again.
Pick: Nets -8.5
Over/Under: Under 228.5
Last Friday resulted in a 118-107 win for the Nets. They covered the spread, but finished the game under the total which was set at 232.5. Brooklyn finished their season going over the total against the Pacers, but their previous five consecutive games had finished under. The Cavs have only gone over the total twice in their last five as well. Stick to the under, as Tuesday night’s game should be pretty similar to what we saw between the two sides last week.
Player Prop: Kevin Durant over 32.5 points (-105)
It’s tough to see a Kevin Durant scoring prop and just move on past it. KD, when healthy, has been playing at an elite level this season. He averaged 29.9 points per game through the regular season, as well as 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. The 33-year-old is still easily one of the best in the game, and there’s no doubt that he’ll turn up the heat for the postseason.
He’s coming off two 32+ point performances in his last three games, and recorded a career-high 55 points against the Hawks at the beginning of April. He dropped 36 just a few days ago when the Nets met the Cavs last weekend, so expect him to pull off a repeat performance and hit over this total.
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