Despite dealing with injury, the Nets have rolled with the punches over the course of the past few weeks, going on an eight-game winning streak powered by some improved defense. The run was snapped on Saturday in a loss to Dallas, where they didn’t have Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, so with one of the two expected back in San Antonio, Brooklyn will be looking to start a new streak. That should prove to be a difficult task against the 17-12 Spurs, who have won six of eight coming into Monday. With so much going right on both sides, we’ll tell you where to look at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 – 08:30 PM ET at AT&T Center
Improving With Every Game
The Nets lost Kevin Durant to a hamstring injury weeks ago, but you’d hardly know it. Starting with a win over Indiana on Feb. 10, Brooklyn went on an eight-game winning streak, complete with wins over the Warriors, Suns, Lakers, and Clippers. All eight wins featured covers of the spread, four coming as favorites and four as underdogs. That’s important to note — the Nets are 8-4 (66.7%) ATS as the underdog this season, compared to just 10-13 (43.5%) as the favorite at sports betting sites. They have preferred playing at home by a large margin, going 8-8 ATS on the road and 9-7 straight up.
They’ll be without Durant once more on Monday, though Kyrie Irving (shoulder) is questionable to play, along with Jeff Green (shoulder) and Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee). Assuming the latter three-play, the Nets should have a formidable offensive attack to go against the Spurs’ ninth-ranked defense. Over the course of the past nine games, only two teams have scored more points per 100 possessions than the Nets, who have put up a ridiculous 120.9. Over that span, they’ve also ranked 11th in rebounding rate — which has been a big struggle all season long — but more impressively, they’ve picked up their defense.
Yes, it appears the Nets are improving by the game, particularly on the defensive end. Brooklyn’s allowed 111.9 points per 100 plays on that end over the past nine games, good for 18th in the NBA. While that doesn’t seem like an upgrade by any means, consider that the Nets sit 26th in the NBA for the season, with a defensive rating of 113.6. That side of the ball will certainly be the focus on Monday. Brooklyn has been able to slow several efficient offenses over the past month, and it’s led to the amazing run we’ve enjoyed watching over that span.
A Profitable Spot
There haven’t been many teams in the NBA that cover the spread as an underdog better than the Spurs do. In fact, just one team has covered in a higher rate of games — the Phoenix Suns. San Antonio sits at 11-5 when getting points on the NBA odds, good for a second-ranked 68.8% cover rate. The team’s covering at an average margin of 2.1 points in these games, and it has covered five of the last six times they’ve been underdogs. So, the Spurs won’t bat an eye at the fact that they’re 3.5-point dogs at home to the Nets.
While Brooklyn comes in with a potent offensive attack, San Antonio is able to counter with the league’s ninth-best defense, owning a 109.8 Defensive Rating for the year. In fact, the 118.8 points they allowed per 100 possessions against the Pelicans in Saturday’s win, marked just the second time in the last eight games the team had gone over the 108-point mark. That is a magnificent run, and it is just as impressive as the offensive streak Brooklyn’s gone on over the same time-frame.
This game should come down to the guard play. Should Irving suit up, he and Harden will go head-to-head with Dejounte Murray and DeMar DeRozan, who, while not holding the firepower of the Nets’ duo, have played exceptional defense and played off each other incredibly well this year.
Murray hasn’t turned the ball over in four straight games, and averages 5.1 assists for the season, while DeRozan has handled the scoring role and been set up nicely by the young guard. The Nets also struggle big-time down low, and LaMarcus Aldridge could have a sneaky-great game posting up Jeff Green and DeAndre Jordan, both of whom have struggled this year one-on-one with bigs.
In the end, I think much of the Nets’ success over the past few weeks has come against either weak or slumping teams. Given their form at the time of the games, the Warriors, Lakers, and Clippers wins aren’t all that impressive. The teams were all dealing with significant injuries. Even with Irving, the team would have come crashing back to Earth.
The Spurs are just as hot as the Nets at the moment, and the best sportsbooks have reflected that. I expect the public to be all over the Nets, giving us a great chance to fade them and make money.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.