- The Boston Celtics are now favored to beat the Brooklyn Nets after opening as betting underdogs in their first-round series.
- Boston opened as the +115 bottom dog, but after heavy betting on the Celtics, Caesars Sportsbook has Boston as the -130 betting favorite
- This marks the second straight season where the Celtics and Nets have faced off in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics had one of the most remarkable turnarounds when they transformed from a non-playoff contender to one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference during midseason.
Boston was out of the Top 10 in the East early on but with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown catching fire since the start of 2022, the Celtics have emerged as one of the top title contenders.
However, despite nearly stealing the top seed in the East, the 2nd seeded Celtics opened as underdogs in their first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. That didn’t last long, however.
Nets Opened as -135 Favorites
It’s not everyday you see a 7 seed favored over a 2 seed ?
The Nets are -135 favorites vs the Celtics ? pic.twitter.com/Zk5G8g85GC
— Caesars Sportsbook (@CaesarsSports) April 13, 2022
The Nets opened as the -135 favorites to beat the Celtics shortly after Brooklyn beat Cleveland in the first play-in tournament game of 2022. But once the odds went live, bettors hammered Boston at +115 with Caesars Sportsbook reporting that 96% of the early tickets and 98% of the total betting handle were wagered on the Celtics. That one-sided betting action forced the said oddsmaker to flip the odds.
As it stands right now, the Celtics are the -130 betting favorites at Caesars with the Nets now at +110 at the said sportsbook and the DK Sportsbook. BetMGM also favors Boston at -140 with Brooklyn priced at +115. The Celtics are even a bigger favorite at Bet365 USA and Bet US with its -145 odds while the Nets are listed at +125 at both betting sites. The shortest odds for Boston are at -150 via the BetOnline App. Consequently, the Nets are also at their longest odds via BetOnline at +130.
WynnBet thinks that the series is much closer with the Celtics listed at -125 and the Nets pegged at +105. Brooklyn’s best odds, however, are at -105 at PointsBetUSA. However, the Celtics are still slightly favored there at -115. While the odds vary, there’s no doubt that the oddsmakers are unanimous in picking Boston as the series winners.
Nets vs Celtics in the First Round For the Second Straight Season
Brooklyn vs. Boston ?
For the second straight year, the Nets will face the Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. pic.twitter.com/cnUtImRwHE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 13, 2022
This marks the second straight season where the Celtics and the Nets will play each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Last season, Boston was the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference and they went on to play 2nd seeded Brooklyn in the opening round of the 2021 playoffs. The Nets ousted the Celtics 4-1 before losing to the eventual NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks in the second round. However, a lot has changed since that series.
Boston orchestrated one of the greatest in-season turnarounds in NBA history, going from an 18-21 team at the start of 202 to the 2nd seed in the East at 51-21 at the end of the regular season. During their transformation, the Celtics became the best defensive team in the NBA and ended the regular season with the best defensive rating in the league at 106.6 points per 100 possessions while holding down their opponents to a league-best 43.4% from the field. One issue for the Boston defense however is the absence of Robert Williams III who is out with an injury.
While Boston had one of the best transformations we’ve seen in years, the Nets fell from grace. Brooklyn opened the season as the odds on favorite to win the 2022 NBA title but with Kyrie Irving unable to play home games at the start of the campaign, Brooklyn struggled and when Kevin Durant got hurt midseason, they slipped in the standings. The Nets closed out strong, however, winning 12 out of their last 17 games to move from 10th to 7th. It remains to be seen however if the Nets superstar duo of KD and Kyrie can lead the team past the Boston juggernaut.