The Brooklyn Nets made an emphatic statement in Game 2, obliterating the Boston Celtics 130-108 on Tuesday night. The stage now shifts to the Garden as Boston looks to avoid the brink of elimination with a third straight loss. The path won’t be easy, as Brooklyn has shown the ability to dominate the scoreboard directly through its three stars (Game 1), as well as using them to create good looks for its role players (Game 2).
Let’s take a closer look at the best wagering markets with our Nets vs. Celtics Game 3 betting pick, complete with the best odds, prop predictions, and analysis.
Having failed to reach 110 points in either game against a Nets team that averages 118.6 points per game, Boston will have its work cut out for them. Things get more dire with Jaylon Brown already out, Jayson Tatum having picked up an injured eye, and Kemba Walker questionable to play with a knee issue. Will home cooking and a Garden crowd’s energy be enough against a Nets team that was just 20-16 away from home on the season?
We will break down this matchup in our Celtics-Nets betting preview, which includes odds, boosts, and picks. Our upcoming analysis will decrypt our side/total selection as well as a high-value prop bet offering we unearthed at a popular sportsbook.
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Celtics vs. Nets Game 3 Odds
Here are the current odds for Celtics vs. Nets at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Clippers||-3 (-112)||-143||O 216.5 (-112)|
|Mavericks||+3 (-109)||+123||U 216.5 (-109)|
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Boston Celtics to Win 1st Half and Brooklyn Nets to Win 2nd Half (FOXBET +210)
This is it for the Boston Celtics. They know what happened last night in Miami. They have to be well aware that coming out flat here will spell their doom, not only in Game 3, but also in the series. If they are going to put a good half of basketball together, it has to be the first half tonight.
They were able to do so in the unique scenario that the first half of Game 1 provided, so perhaps they can replicate that effort here. In the first 24 minutes of the opening game of the series, Brooklyn had to adjust to a larger, louder home crowd, while also developing a rhythm within a starting lineup that had not begun a game together all season. The result was a six point first half win for Boston and they will hope the change of venue and home crowd will help produce a similar outcome tonight.
The Celtics have to realize they aren’t likely to catch Brooklyn from behind. They need a lead entering the second half that they can use to slow play down and shrink the remainder of the game, hopefully taking the Nets out of their rhythm and getting them to press a bit.
Struggling Down the Stretch
Here is a striking stat for you. Boston won the first half 35 times this season. When winning the first half, the Celtics went on to lose the second half 22 times. That means they lost the second half after winning the first half (exactly what this prop demands) 62.9% of the time this season! This anomaly has also occurred in six of the last eight games where the Celtics won the first half. Also worth mentioning, for those of you who think Boston is cooked and will end up getting swept, it won the first half in nine of their 38 losses this season.
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For the Nets, they lost the first half 34 times this season, a remarkably high number for a team that only lost 24 games thus far. That plays well here, as they then avoided losing the second half in 23 of those games (67.6%). For the sweep theorists, again, 16 of the 23 games in which Brooklyn lost the first half, but won the second half, it went on to win the game outright. The 67.6% success rate for this prop regarding the Nets spikes to 71.4% in their last 21 opportunities after losing the first half, as well.
One final statistical note – two of the Nets’ five wins over the Celtics this season saw them trailing at the half. Three of the last seven meetings between the two teams saw this prop cash, a hefty percentage (42.9%) for a prop that pays better than 2:1 in terms of profit.
We could see this being a spot where Brooklyn comes in a little too relaxed. They wiped the floor with Boston in Game 2 and know the Celtics are a bit shorthanded. Kyrie Irving could be a little too focused on his first time playing at the Garden since leaving Boston two seasons ago. And the Nets could lose a touch of identity early with the absence of Jeff Green, who will miss the rest of this series with a plantar issue in his left foot.
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Nets vs. Celtics Game 3 Prediction
Game 2 helped us a bit here. The Nets dropping 130 will leave bettors fearful of playing an under wager tonight. After all, what if Boston figures it out and drops 110-120 tonight? Well, I just don’t see that as feasible. The team might show some pride early and make it competitive through the first two or three quarters, but the team is beat up, lacks a quality bench, and might have already turned on its coach. When Brooklyn makes that late push, this team may just collapse and fold the tent for the season.
Green’s injury will make the Nets look a little different again offensively, giving the Big 3 one less quality scoring option to utilize when they find themselves in a double team situation. Joe Harris isn’t going to drop seven three-pointers every night and there isn’t a ton of offense wearing a Nets jersey otherwise.
The Boston crowd might accentuate the tough adjustment for them early and help keep their points a bit more modest overall. Worth mentioning, the under has cashed in each of the Nets’ last six outings after scoring 125 or more prior, all this season. They averaged just 109.3 points per game in those outings, nearly ten below their season average.
Trends to Know
Both teams average game totals below tonight’s posted number when playing on two days of rest, having played more games under than over in that role. Brooklyn has played six of its last eight games under on two days of rest.
Brooklyn has played 23 of 37 games under this season when favored by five or more points (62.2%), while Boston has played both of its games under the total as dogs of 7.5-9.5 points. The Nets have also played five of their last six games under when favored by 4.5 or more on the road. In fact, six of their last eight games as road favorites have played under the posted number.
While the Nets have played four of their last five road games under the total against teams with above .500 home records, Boston has played four of its last five under against above .500 overall opposition. Against elite competition (teams with above .600 win percentages), the Celtics have played five of their last seven games under.
Nets vs. Celtics Pick
Boston has played five of its last six games under in the playoffs as an underdog and has played 11 games under the number to just five over in its last 16 as a home dog overall.
With seven of Boston’s last ten Eastern Conference Quarterfinal games staying under the number, look for tonight to make it five games under the total in the six head-to-head meetings this season, a series that has averaged just 119.6 total points per game thus far this year.
Our Pick: NETS/CELTICS UNDER 227 POINTS
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