Celtics vs. Nets Prediction: NBA Odds, Point Spread

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Mar 11, 2021

3O3U7CAS3QI6VKDTTYATP3K6SY

These teams have only met once this season, a Christmas Day showdown in a blowout 123-95 Nets win in Boston. 

Boston
36-36
AT
March 11, 2021, 7:30 PM ET
Barclays Center
Brooklyn
48-24
Pointspread +2.5 -105
Moneyline +113
Over / Under o +232

13%

Betting Action

87%

Pointspread -2.5 -115
Moneyline -136
Over / Under u +232

13%

Betting Action

87%

In a potential preview of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics are heading to Brooklyn on Thursday to face a Nets team that continues to add more and more weapons to their roster.

The Nets are 2.5-point favourites to win on the NBA odds with a total of 233.5.

NBA Point Spread and Betting Analysis

These teams have only met once this season, a Christmas Day showdown in a blowout 123-95 Nets win in Boston.  Unfortunately for the Celtics, Brooklyn has only become stronger.  The Nets didn’t even have James Harden on the roster for that game and they’ve also added veteran Blake Griffin, although Griffin won’t make his Brooklyn debut on Thursday.

Boston’s talented offence and inconsistent defence has resulted in the Celtics hitting the Over in 20 of 36 games this season.  They have hit the Over an equal ten times at home and ten times on the road.  The Celts haven’t been great at covering the spread, going 17-19 against the spread overall.  Boson hasn’t covered in six straight road games and have only covered once in their last six trips to Brooklyn.

The Nets have essentially had the same problem of all offence, no defence.  Brooklyn has hit the Over in 25 of 37 games overall and 12 of their last 16 games against East teams.  The Nets are 20-17 ATS overall, but they’ve been paying off even better lately, covering in 10 of their last 11 games.

Boston Celtics

Boston was heating up before the All-Star break, winning four straight games.  The Celtics are getting a big boost for this game, as Marcus Smart is expected to play after missing 18 games with a calf injury.  Coach Brad Stevens has said Smart will be on a significant minutes restriction until he’s back up to game speed.  In the absence of Smart, it’s been up to players like Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum to plug the defensive holes.  Daniel Theis and Grant Williams have played great offensively, off the bench, but they’ll both need to step up defensively to avoid Brooklyn’s talent exploiting them.

After dropping 21 points for Team Durant at the All-Star game, Tatum will be on the opposite side of the court as the Brooklyn superstar on Thursday.  Tatum (and Boston in general) hasn’t been as consistent as the Celtics would like this season, although he does lead the team in several statistical categories.  Tatum leads Boston in points per game (24.9), assists (4.5) and steals (1.4).  The key for Tatum is to continue to perform offensively without sacrificing defence.  If he can do that on Thursday, Boston has a solid shot of taking down the surging Nets.

Brooklyn Nets

It seems like everybody in the NBA is nervously waiting for Brooklyn to get fully healthy.  On paper, the Nets are the best team in the NBA.  The Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving is enough to deal with, but the addition of veteran Blake Griffin could be what puts this team over the top in the playoffs.  Griffin won’t feature on Thursday however, as he tries to get back into game shape after not playing for three weeks.  Durant will also be on the sidelines.  First-year coach Steve Nash is being cautious as Durant rehabs a hamstring sprain.  It’s more likely we’ll see Durant slowly eased back into the lineup to ramp this roster up as the season gets closer to playoff time.

With Durant out of action, Harden will be the key player in this game.  Harden has only continued to get better the more he plays with Brooklyn and the former Rockets star is coming into this game off back-to-back triple-doubles before the All-Star break.  The difference between Houston-Harden and Brooklyn-Harden has been attention to defence.  In the Nets’ OT win over the Spurs just before the break, Harden became the first NBA player since 1977-78 to finish a game with 30+ points, 10+ rebounds, 15+ assists and no turnovers.  Harden is also leading the league in average assists per game (11.4).

NBA Prediction: Who Will Win Celtics vs. Nets?

SportsInteraction
NBA Predictions