The 2022 NBA Playoffs First Round goes on Saturday, April 23, with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series between Boston and Brooklyn, so we have prepared the best Celtics vs. Nets betting pick and odds.
After winning the first two contests on the home court, 115-114 and 114-107, the Celtics head to Barclays Center in Brooklyn as 3.5-point underdogs. The Nets are -170 moneyline favorites, while the totals sit at 223.0 points on Caesars Sportsbook.
The Celtics eye their sixth straight win over the Nets
The Boston Celtics (53-31; 44-38-2 ATS) extended their dominance over the Brooklyn Nets after winning three of their four encounters this past regular season. Jayson Tatum’s buzzer-beating layup lifted the Celtics over the Nets in the opening clash of their playoff series, while Boston’s defense did an excellent job in Game 2, holding Brooklyn to 42 points in the second half.
The Celtics erased a 17-point deficit last Wednesday, as seven different players scored in double figures. Jaylen Brown led the way with 22 points, six assists, and three steals; Jayson Tatum posted a 19-point, 10-assist double-double, while Grant Williams added 17 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Through their first two outings in the postseason, the Celtics were tallying 118.0 points per 100 possessions while surrendering 115.1 in a return. They shot 49.4% from the field and 35.9% from beyond the arc, making 11.5 triples per game.
The Nets need more from their best players
The Brooklyn Nets (45-40; 33-49-3 ATS) need to step up in the crunch time if they want to avoid another loss to the Celtics. They shot 53.8% from the field and 45.8% from downtown in Game 1 and still managed to record a loss. Last Wednesday, they were awful in the second half, while both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving struggled to make shots from the field.
Durant had 27 points in Game 2. He went 18-for-20 from the charity stripe, but KD made only four of his 17 attempts from the field. Irving had 39 points in the opener and only ten in Game 2, so the Nets desperately need more from their key players.
Brooklyn was shooting 50.0% from the field and 46.7% from beyond the 3-point line through their previous two meetings with the Celtics. The Nets allowed 16.5 second-chance points a night, as Boston posted 14 offensive rebounds in the opener.
- 6-13-1 ATS in the last 20 games against Brooklyn
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven games in the postseason
- 9-2 ATS in the last 11 home games against Boston
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick
The Nets are in a must-win situation, and I’m expecting them to deliver in front of the home fans. Kevin Durant should be fired up to prove his worth after an abysmal shooting night in Game 2, while Kyrie Irving needs to show his still an elite point guard in the league. Irving had one assist in Game 2.
I’m not comfortable with a 3.5-point spread, as we should see another tight contest that could be easily decided by three or fewer points. If you’re satisfied with -170 odds, go with the Nets to win straight up.
Pick: Take Brooklyn Nets -3.5 at -110
The over is 8-2 in the last ten encounters between the Celtics and Nets, and each of their previous four duels has produced 221 or more points in the total. If you prefer to follow the betting trends, take the over, but the Celtics will try everything they can to slow down the tempo in this clash.
I lean the over because of the Nets’ style of play. Their offense is capable of dealing with the Celtics’ D that is one of the best in the NBA, while Brooklyn’s defense is arguably far away from an elite level.
Pick: Go over 223.0 points at -110