Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics host Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets on Friday evening. The matchup between division foes is in the middle of the five-game NBA Christmas Day 2020 schedule. The Celtics will look to build on a narrow win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the team's season opener. The Nets also began the season on a high note, throttling the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday evening.
Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. ET at TD Garden. The latest Nets vs. Celtics odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Brooklyn as a three-point favorite, up two points from the opening line. The over-under for total points expected is up to 229.5 after opening at 227. Before making any Celtics vs. Nets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two seasons. Last year, it went a stunning 61-33 on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nets vs. Celtics spread: Nets -3
- Nets vs. Celtics over-under: 229.5 points
- Nets vs. Celtics money line: Nets -150, Celtics +130
- BKLN: The Nets were 6-14 against the spread in division games last season
- BOS: The Celtics were 16-10 against the spread in division games last season
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston is known for being strongly above-average on both ends of the floor, including top-five marks in both offensive and defensive efficiency last season. In the season opener, the Celtics reaffirmed their offensive upside, including 33 points for Brown and a 30-point, seven-rebound showing from Tatum.
The Nets project to be a below-average defensive team, as they deploy offense-first players at most key positions. Even with Brooklyn playing solid defense a year ago, the Nets struggled to create turnovers, forcing a giveaway on only 12.4 percent of possessions, and the Celtics should be comfortable in initiating quality offense in this matchup.
Why the Nets can cover
Brooklyn projects as an elite offensive team, and that was on display in the team's first contest against the Warriors. In addition to a combined 48 points in 50 minutes from Durant and Irving, the Nets produced a 58.9 percent true shooting mark that included 15-of-35 from 3-point range. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season with an Achilles injury but, in 2018-19, he averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, and he is a proven offensive force when healthy.
Irving was electric in 20 games last season, putting up 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game, and the Nets have great offensive pieces in support, headlined by Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert.
The Celtics are a quality defensive team but, in 2019-20, Boston was below-average on the defensive glass, allowing opponents to grab 25.6 percent of their own rebounds. Considering Brooklyn was a top-10 offensive rebounding team in its own right, that is an area the Nets can possible exploit.
How to make Celtics vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with Tatum and Irving projected to land short of their scoring performances from the season opener. The model also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nets vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Celtics vs. Nets spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.