The Brooklyn Nets knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 7th vs. 8th seed play-in matchup, securing them a seven-game series against the second-seeded Boston Celtics. We’ve been here before, as these teams faced off in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs, although that time it was Boston that secured its spot via the play-in tournament.
Looking at both teams from a New York sports betting perspective, health is going to play an enormous role in terms of which team ends up victorious. Ben Simmons (Nets) and Robert Williams (Celtics) are potential X-factors for their respective teams.
It’s worth noting the Celtics never were expected to be a contending team this year. A new front office and coaching staff, along with significant roster turnover, had most people in agreement their championship window is still a year or two away. To their credit, the Celtics have been one of the best teams in the NBA since Jan. 1 and will be a stern opponent for Brooklyn throughout this playoff series.
Who’s Favored to Win the Series?
Heading into Game 1 Saturday, the Celtics are slightly favored over the Nets to win the series. According to DraftKings Sportsbook New York, Boston is -130 and Brooklyn is +110 to progress into the second round.
Caesars Sportsbook New York has the Celtics as a -145 favorite and the Nets a +125 underdog.
Of course, these New York NBA betting odds are fluid and will fluctuate from game to game. But the logic behind these odds makes sense. After all, why should the Nets be favored over a team that automatically qualified for the postseason and is fighting to maintain home-court advantage throughout their playoff run?
Earlier this week, we looked at the Nets heading into the playoffs and how they matched up with Cleveland.
When you look at the two rosters, the most prominent concern you have for the Nets is their defense. We saw in the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that stopping perimeter-based players from penetrating and pressuring the rim is a huge weakness for Brooklyn, and that is one of the Celtics’ strengths. However, we do need to respect the fact the Nets have the best player in the series. When Kevin Durant is on his game, there’s little teams can do to stop him from getting what he wants.
How Many Games Will the Series Last?
Last year, the Nets completed a gentlemen’s sweep of the Celtics, progressing to the second round in five games. However, Jaylen Brown was absent from the Celtics’ rotation last year and Robert Williams went down early with a turf toe injury. Boston is far deeper this time around and that suggests the series will come down to the wire.
DraftKings is offering props on the series length, regardless of who comes out victorious. A seven-game series will get you odds of +175, six games +190, five games +290 and a sweep comes in at +600.
When you look at the two rosters and how they match up, backing a six- or seven-game series is the best bet. Neither team has a genuine advantage over the other, as both offset each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so it’s logical to expect the series to come down to a 4-2 or 4-3 victory.
The star talent on both sides in this series is almost unheard of for the first round of the NBA playoffs. We all hoped it’s what we were getting last year, but injuries robbed us of the opportunity. Now, though, the basketball gods are rewarding our patience.
Durant and Tatum are the main draws here. Both can score at will, facilitate an offense and defend at an All-NBA level. Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown are All-Star caliber talents who will be genuine second stars for their team.
DraftKings Sportsbook has some solid odds for individual player props for the series. The two best ones are:Scoring Leader:
- Kevin Durant -130
- Jayson Tatum +160
- Kyrie Irving +350
- Jaylen Brown +1000
- Marcus Smart +115
- Kevin Durant +150
- Kyrie Irving +350
- Jayson Tatum +750
- Goran Dragic +1500
- Jaylen Brown +2000
In a series that is certainly a battle between two Eastern Conference titans, there are some genuine individual match-up battles and coaching chess battles to come. No matter which team emerges as the victor, we’re almost guaranteed a very memorable playoff series.