The NBA Odds have been late coming out for tonight’s game, however BetOnline has some early NBA Odds out already, and they are in favor of the visiting Nets at -3 ½, with a total of 195 ½. While the spread is almost exactly where I thought it would open up, this total is very interesting to say the least. Let’s take a look at some of the factors heading into this game, and see if we can find some value in this total of 195 ½.
Slow pace, but little defense
The Nets are one of the slowest paced teams in the NBA. While this style of play may have more to do with their personnel than what works better for them, the Nets grind out games in their half court sets. This obviously leads to more unders cashing for the Nets, because even though their defense hasn’t been great this season, they play so slow that they can hold opponents to under 100 points almost every night.
However here, even though the Celtics have not been scoring the ball well recently, they have been playing defense just as badly. The Celtics have no true center on their roster, and it has caught up to them in a big way on the defensive end.
However I don’t think they need a big guy to score the ball on Brooklyn tonight. The Nets will be without Kevin Garnett once again tonight, and while that doesn’t kill their defense, it does hurt when you downgrade to Andray Blatche and Mason Plumlee. While Boston’s front line doesn’t need much defending, Jared Sullinger is back for the Celtics, and he should give the Nets trouble on the glass at the very least.
Another defensive mismatch for tonight’s game has to be Rajon Rondo going up against Deron Williams. Even with Williams playing better as of late, Rondo is going to be a handful for him on the defensive end. The Nets may be forced to switch Shaun Livingston onto Rondo if Williams is having some trouble defending him. All of these factors will certainly lead to more offense than defense tonight.
The Sharp Pick
This is the highest total these two have had in several years, in fact you have to go back all the way before 2011 to find a total where the number was this high. While this may not appear to be good for a bet on the total, I think the sportsbooks are telling us something with these numbers.
Boston has been playing horrible defense recently, and I see the Nets having no problem scoring on them tonight, even on the road. The Celtics have given up 104 points per game in their last eight games, and in their last four games, they have given up over 106 points per game.
Brooklyn should have a floor of 100 points scored tonight if Boston’s defense stays as bad as it’s been, and with the mismatches and injury to Garnett, the Celtics should be able to stay with them tonight. Boston has cashed the over in four of their last five games overall, and two of the last three times these two have played one another, the total has gone over. Even with the slower pace, I see this one going over.My Pick: OVER 195 ½