The Brooklyn Nets, playing some of their best ball of this season lately, continue their quest for a top-four seed in the upcoming NBA playoffs when they take on the Boston Celtics. Here's our take on how this game might play out, and our free pick on who might cover the spread.
<p><b style="font-size:1em">The Line</b></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Most <a target="_blank" title="Track live NBA odds for the webs best betting sites" href="/betting-odds/nba-basketball/">NBA odds boards we sampled</a> opened Brooklyn at -10, with a total of 195. And while the line had held steady in the early betting, most books bumped the total to 196.</span></p> <p style="text-align:center">[gameodds]5/259368/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]</p> <p><b>The Situation<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Brooklyn has won nine of its last 11 games, after beating Charlotte Wednesday night 104-99. The Nets shot 49 percent from the field, made nine of 20 shots from 3-point land and committed just seven turnovers. But in missing 14 of 35 free-throw attempts Brooklyn failed to cover the spread as a six-point favorite.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">Boston, meanwhile, just broke a five-game losing streak with a <a target="_blank" title="How did we predict this game would play out?" href="/nba-basketball/free-picks/nba-picks-heat-vs-celtics-go-over-total-a-38228/">101-96 upset of Miami Wednesday night</a>. However, the Heat were without LeBron James.</span></p> <p>The Celtics shot 51 percent from the floor Wednesday, and while they got outscored in the paint 50-20, they hit 13 of 28 shots from beyond the arc.</p> <p>As far as the big picture goes Brooklyn sits in <a target="_blank" title="Eastern Conference Updates & Standings" href="/nba-basketball/free-picks/eastern-conference-betting-trends-heading-into-playoffs-a-38086/">fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings</a>, two games behind fourth-place Chicago and only 2.5 games behind third-place Toronto.</p> <p>Boston is 23 games under .500, and will miss the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. </p> <p> </p> <p><b style="font-size:1em">The Season Series<br /></b><img title="How are the NBA odds shaping up for tonight's Nets vs. Celtics matchup?" src="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks-pictures/Brooklyn_nets_sports+picks.jpg" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="How are the NBA odds shaping up for tonight's Nets vs. Celtics matchup?" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" /><span style="font-size:1em">Brooklyn has <a target="_blank" title="How have these teams matched up head to head?" href="/nba-basketball/matchups/20140321-812/">taken two of three games from Boston</a> this season. The Nets beat the Celts back in December 104-96 at the Barclays Center, then topped Boston in January 85-79 at the Garden.</span></p> <p>The Celtics then got on the board two weeks ago with a 91-84 win over Brooklyn, also in Boston.</p> <p>The Nets covered the spread in those first two games as two-point and four-point favorites, but the Celtics won their game outright as five-point underdogs.</p> <p>Also, the first meeting played OVER a total of 193, but the other two games played UNDER totals of 191 and 200.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">In the three games combined Brooklyn shot 43 percent from the floor, Boston 42 percent.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><b>Celtics-Nets By the Numbers<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Boston is shooting just 43 percent from the field this season, just 33 percent from 3-point range and 77 percent from the FT line. The Celtics are also allowing foes to shoot 46 percent from the floor.</span></p> <p>Brooklyn is shooting 45 percent from the field, 37 percent from long range and 76 percent from the line, while allowing opponents to shoot 45.5 percent.</p> <p> </p> <p><b>Celtics-Nets Betting Trends<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Boston has trended toward the UNDERS this season by a 40-29 margin, as Celtics games have averaged 195 total points.</span></p> <p>Brooklyn is 31-31 on the totals this season, as Nets games have averaged 197 points.</p> <p>Boston is 19-14 ATS on the road this season.</p> <p>Brooklyn is 19-14 ATS at home.</p> <p>The Nets have won 10 games in a row at home, while the Celtics have lost seven in a row on the road.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">This is the first game this season the Nets have been favored by double-digits.</span></p> <p>Boston is 8-2 ATS this season as a double-digit dog.</p> <p> </p> <p><b>Injury Update<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Nets F Kevin Garnett has missed recent action with a bad back, and he is not expected to play Friday night.</span></p> <p><b>Celtics-Nets Free NBA Pick<br /></b><span style="font-size:1em">Brooklyn is playing with some purpose, trying to move up the ladder in the Eastern Conference standings, while Boston is playing out the string. But this will be the largest spread the Nets have tried to cover this season, while the Celtics have been very good at covering big spreads. So we'll go with Boston at the +10 points offered at Bookmaker for our <a target="_blank" title="What other free picks do we have on offer tonight?" href="/nba-basketball/">free NBA pick for Friday</a>.</span></p>