Boston Celtics (32-10) at Brooklyn Nets (15-23)
We won again last night as I backed the Boston Celtics against Minnesota and the C’s won and covered for us yet again. I am always shocked when I see the Celtics continually undervalued in the betting market. The recipe for success this year has been a fairly easy one, back the Celtics and win money. I am going to stick with that formula tonight as I breakdown another Boston matchup. This time a road affair against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Boston Celtics will travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets tonight. Boston comes in with the most wins in the NBA, at 32, and has won and covered against two of the better teams in the NBA, Minnesota and Cleveland, already in the New Year. The Celtics have won five straight games entering play tonight.
The Nets have started their New Year out on the right foot as well as they ended December on a nasty skid but are 2-0 so far this year. The Celtics are -5-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 207 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 PM PST from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Boston Celtics have that nobody believes in us fire this year. That is a hard fire to start when you finished last season in the Eastern Conference Finals and had the best record in the East last year, but Boston has managed to convince themselves they are the underdogs.
Maybe it is the fact that they lost free agent singing Gordon Hayward just five minutes into the season to a gruesome leg injury. Maybe its because Kyrie Irving is desperate to get out from under his former big brother Lebron James shadow. Whatever the case may be, Boston is playing inspired basketball this season.
I have backed the Celtics on numerous occasions this year in big matchups, and they have not let me down yet. They seem to be able to really get up for big games against good teams this season. Where Boston seems to struggle a bit is in the lower level matchups. Any team can get revved up to play against Lebron and the Cavs, but can they carry that same level of intensity over to a matchup with lesser opponents, like the one they have tonight in the Brooklyn Nets?
The Brooklyn Nets are kind of a mess this year. At just 15-23, there aren’t too many nice things I can say about them. But as usually is the case, the playoff cut line in the East is a soft one, so even if with their early season struggles, the Nets find themselves just four games back of a playoff berth.
The Nets use strong rebounding and sharp shooting from deep to hang with teams that are more talented than them. They have a very balanced attack as they have eight players averaging double digits in scoring. They don’t have that one superstar up top to lead the way, although D’Angelo Russell looks well on his way to being that guy someday, but they give a full team effort to win games.
They are a bit banged up at the moment as DeMarre Carroll, and Caris LeVert are both day to day with injuries and might not play tonight. If the Nets are going to get this season back on track, they will need to do it now. The Nets are in the middle of a five-game homestand that has seen them already start out 2-0. They had a long three-day break, at home, with no travel, to get ready for this game. If they could sweep the rest of this homestand, they will find themselves right back in the hunt for the playoffs.
I know I started out this article saying that I love backing Boston this year and they never let me down. But I am switching gears tonight. The one weakness the Celtics have is playing down to mediocre competition at times. We saw a perfect example of this when they hosed this very same Nets team on New Year’s Eve a week ago and barely snuck past them at home 108-105. Now they must face that same team, on the road this time, after playing last night.
Back to backs on the road are great spots to fade good teams. They are tired and less motivated, and the home team usually is fired up with a good team coming into their house. I do think that Boston will walk out of here with the win, but -5 points seems a little too excessive. While the Nets don’t win too many games, they usually manage to keep them close, and playing tonight at home after a long break I expect them to be well rested and ready. Whereas the Celtics just dominated two very good teams and come in having to play back to backs, I can see them coming out flat.
I really hate to bet against my money-making Celtics this season, but all signs point to a tightly contested game tonight in Brooklyn. The Nets should be well rested and well prepared, and I think this game comes down to the final few possessions. Give me the Brooklyn Nets at home getting 5 points tonight.