After going through the play-in tournament, the Boston Celtics will get the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Which team will draw first blood in this Eastern Conference playoffs series? Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 1 on May 22, 2021
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
When: Saturday, May 22, 2021, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ABC
Betting on the Boston Celtics (+8)
Regular Season Record: 36-36
The Celtics proved they deserve a seat in the playoffs by beating the Washington Wizards in the play-in game on May 18, 118-100, while also easily covering the spread as a 2-point home favorite. Jayson Tatum went berserk against the Wizards, as he dropped 50 points on 14-of-32 shooting from the field. A lot is riding on the shoulders of Tatum, with Jaylen Brown out for the rest of the season because of an injury. Tatum still has a solid running mate, though, in the form of Kemba Walker, who scored 29 points against the Wizards. Tatum has averaged 31.2 points in his last nine games, while Walker put up 29.8 points in his last four. What Boston needs to find is a consistent third wheel, and that could be anyone among Evan Fournier, Marcus Smart, or even Robert Williams. The Celtics had an offensive rating of 113.1 in the regular season — 10th in the NBA — and a defensive rating of 111.8 — 13th overall.
The Celtics are 2-0 against the spread in their last two road games.
Betting on the Brooklyn Nets (-8)
Regular Season Record: 48-24
The Nets have their three superstars ready for the playoffs, and that’s bad news for the Celtics. While the Celtics won’t have one of their best players in Jaylen Brown, the Nets will be rolling into the playoffs with the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden all healthy. Brooklyn closed out its schedule in the regular season with a five-game win streak, including a 125-119 win over the title contenders Denver Nuggets on the road on May 6. Speaking of trios, the Nets defeated Boston in all three meetings between these teams back in the regular season. Among the three Nets superstars, Irving was the only one to play in all those games in which he averaged 30.7 points on 50.8 percent shooting from the field, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. Irving surely likes to play against his former team.
The Nets are 6-0 against the spread in their last six home games against Boston.
The Nets win, 119-110.
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