The Brooklyn Nets are heavy favorites against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving coasted during the regular season. Now it’s time to kick it into high gear for a deep run in the postseason. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are trying to play spoiler.
Let’s jump into our three top Celtics vs. Nets Game 1 prop picks for this NBA postseason matchup.
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Celtics vs. Nets Prop Picks (May 22, 2021)
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Jayson Tatum Top Scorer of the Game (+125)
The Celtics need Jayson Tatum to be at his absolute best if they are going to have any chance against the Nets this series. He dropped 50 points in Boston’s play-in win over the Washington Wizards. With Jaylen Brown out, and Kemba Walker having a down season, there is a ton of pressure on Tatum to produce.
Grabbing plus money on Tatum here isn’t a bad idea. The Nets have three guys who could outscore Tatum — Durant, Harden, and Irving — but they are going to take shots away from each other. Brooklyn feeds the hot hand. Boston is going to have to rely on Tatum heavily even if he struggles early.
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Joe Harris Over 11.5 Points (-115)
There are solid odds on the point totals for the big three, but Joe Harris is the name to watch. Durant, Harden, and Irving are going to get a ton of attention from the Boston defense. That tends to open things up for Harris on the outside. The seven-year NBA veteran led the NBA in three-point shooting at a remarkable 47.5%. He doesn’t miss many open shots and we expect him to have a lot against the Celtics.
Harris was 4-for-21 in Brooklyn’s playoff loss to the Celtics in 2019, but he bounced back in the bubble. The sharpshooter converted on seven of his 11 attempts from deep in Disney World. He did that without the big three. This series is setting up as a big opportunity for Joe Harris.
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Kyrie Irving Over 27.5 Points+Assists (-115)
This is a number that Kyrie Irving could hit on points alone. He’s having the best year of his career and we don’t expect him to slow down in the playoffs. Irving averaged 26.9 points on 51/40/92 shooting splits. It might be tough for Irving to go off if he’s matched up with Marcus Smart all game, but he’s capable of dishing out double-digit assists in that scenario.
Irving always shows up against his former team. Call it a revenge game or whatever you want, but Irving puts up big numbers when he plays against Boston. He dropped 40 and 37 points in his last two games against the Celtics. Hammer the over on this one.
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