NBA Picks: Back Road Dog Nets & 'Under' To Keep Close To Celtics

Darin Zank

Saturday, January 2, 2016 5:06 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 5:06 PM UTC

Brooklyn doesn't look like it's going anywhere this season, but it's actually been a good bet as of late, going 4-1 against the NBA odds its last five games. Can the Nets cover nine points at Boston Saturday?

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NBA Picks: Nets +10 & UNDER 205 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Nets vs.Celtics
Most of Saturday's NBA odds market opened Boston at -9 for this game, with a total of right around 204. Both those numbers were holding steady in the early betting.


The Match-Up
Brooklyn (9-23 SU, 19-13 ATS) has lost eight of its last 10 games, after falling at Orlando Wednesday night 100-93. The Nets actually led that game by a bucket with less than two minutes to go, but got outscored 10-0 from there. They did, however, just manage to hang on to cover the spread as eight-point dogs.

With that late fade Brooklyn has now allowed at least 100 points each of its last 10 games.

On the night the Nets shot just 42 percent from the field, just three-for-20 from 3-point range, and got outrebounded 56-42.

Monday night Brooklyn upset the Heat in Miami 111-105, winning that game outright as a seven-point dog. In fact, the Nets are 4-1 ATS over their last five games, with a victory over the Bulls and an overtime loss to Dallas.

Boston (18-14 SU, 18-13 ATS) just had a four-game winning streak snapped by a 112-104 upset loss to the Lakers Wednesday night. Boston trailed by 11 midway through the fourth quarter, pulled to within a bucket with about two minutes to go, but couldn't quite complete the comeback, losing outright as a two-touchdown favorite.

The Celts shot just 43 percent Wednesday, just seven-of-27 from long range.

However, just prior to that Boston had reeled off four straight victories, over Minnesota, Charlotte, Detroit and New York, going 4-0 ATS in the process.


Recent History
These teams have already split two meetings this season, on a home-and-home back in November. First, Boston won at the Garden 120-95, covering at -9; two days later Brooklyn won at Barclays 111-101, taking that game outright as a five-point home dog.

The Celts jumped out to a 24-point halftime lead in that first meeting, cruising to the victory from there. They shot 59 percent from the floor that night, while holding the Nets to just 39 percent shooting.

The roles basically reversed two nights later, when Brooklyn took a 16-point lead into the half. Boston rallied to within six points with about 10 minutes to go, but the Nets fended off the rally.

Brooklyn shot 51 percent that night, while the Celtics shot just 43 percent.

Also, both those games played OVER totals of 204 and 201.

Last season Boston took three of four games from the Nets.


Nets-Celts Total Trends
Brooklyn is 18-14 on the UNDERS this season, as Nets games have averaged 200 points.

Boston is 17-15 on the UNDERS, as Celts games have averaged 202 points.


Final Analysis
Boston is probably entitled to a bounce-back effort after the loss to the Lakers Wednesday, and should win this game. But that line does seem slightly inflated toward the home-standing Celtics. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has actually played some decent ball over the last 10 days or so, beating Chicago and Miami, taking Dallas to overtime, covering four of the last five spreads. The Nets are also 16-7 ATS this season as dogs of four points or more, 7-3 ATS getting eight or more. We like Brooklyn plus the points for our NBA picks in this spot. Also, in thinking this game might stay close, and possessions will mean something late, we're going UNDER.

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