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Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center on January 04, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center on January 04, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images via AFP.

The top two teams in the NBA Eastern Conference standings face off on TNT on Thursday. Here are our top Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets NBA picks based on the best basketball odds.

The Brooklyn Nets are the hottest team in the NBA and have won 18 of their last 20 games. Coincidentally, one of those two losses came at home at the hands of the Boston Celtics, who still hold the NBA’s best record at the moment (30-12). The Nets just got hit with a major setback right in time for this primetime game, as Kevin Durant will miss around a month after a knee injury he suffered earlier this week. Durant had previously missed only one game this season.

The Celtics have had a fascinating 2023 so far, losing in embarrassing fashion on the road in Denver and Oklahoma City, but responding with a four-game winning streak. Starting point guard Marcus Smart is questionable and, on the second leg of a back-to-back, the Celtics may swap starting centers, replacing Al Horford with Robert Williams III, but that situation also remains unannounced as of Thursday morning.

Here is our best Celtics vs. Nets NBA pick (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our Mavericks vs. Lakers picks and top NBA player prop picks for Thursday, as well as our look at the best NBA Finals odds and NBA MVP odds.

Celtics vs. Nets Game Info

Date: Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Celtics vs. Nets Odds

Celtics vs. Nets Odds Analysis

With both teams dealing with injuries in their starting lineup, the books are expecting a closely-fought matchup. After opening up as 4-point favorites, the Celtics have seen the majority of the public backing ATS. Yet, the line has moved in favor of the Nets by 1.5 points. The Celtics have been one of the more unpredictable teams to read against the spread. They are 23-19-0 ATS on the season, but 8-10-0 ATS as a road favorite and a tantalizing 6-1-0 ATS when they have the rest disadvantage like they do on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Nets are 20-19-1 ATS on the season but 0-2-0 ATS as a home underdog and 5-4-0 ATS when they have the rest advantage.

The total for this game has remained stable at 227.5, a number that the Nets have soared Under in each of their last two games and the Celtics have gone Over in five of their 6 games without Marcus Smart.

Celtics vs. Nets Pick

Kyrie Irving Over 4.5 assists ⭐⭐⭐⭐

On Thursday, superstar point guard Kyrie Irving will start without Kevin Durant for the first time this season. Regardless of Marcus Smart’s availability, expect Boston to make it its top priority to keep the former Celtic from scoring. Expect a similar defensive scheme to what the Miami Heat threw at Irving after Durant’s mid-game injury a few days ago, which featured plenty of blitzes with their best defensive weapons. Since his fallout with the Celtics and their fans, Irving has played the Celtics twice without Durant (both at Barclays Center); here is how he fared:

  • Mar 11, 2021: 40 points and three assists on 13 potential assists
  • Apr 23, 2021: 15 points and 11 assists on 11 potential assists

This season, he has at least five assists in 13 of his 24 games when co-playmaker Ben Simmons is in. Furthermore, he has hit that number in five of his eight such home games when he logs at least 34 minutes. The close spread and line movement suggests the playing time should be there, so the playmaking should be too.

Celtics vs. Nets Best Odds

PointsBet (-120)

Over 5.5 assistsOver 4.5 assistsOver 4.5 assistsOver 5.5 assistsOver 4.5 assists

We’re currently getting a steal of a price on PointsBet and if the line continues to move up throughout the day, I would be fine playing this up to 5.5 assists if you can get that at plus-money. FanDuel also provides the option to ladder his assists, up to 10-plus assists. With the usage we expect from Irving today, it is also a good look to build a two-leg same-game parlay on FanDuel as follows:

  • Kyrie Irving 10-plus rebounds
  • Kyrie Irving 10-plus assists

The Celtics have allowed the fifth-most rebounds in the NBA to point guards over their last 15 games, making the +7755 price on this parlay worth a sprinkle.

Celtics-Nets pick made 01/12/2023 at 10:30 a.m. ET.

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