The Brooklyn Nets put the NBA on notice on opening night with one of the most convincing wins of all-time against the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant looked fine. Kyrie Irving looked great. The Nets bench might be better than some team’s starting lineups. Steve Nash’s offense was clicking all night long to improve to 1-0 heading into X-Mas.
The Boston Celtics spent all night Wednesday outplaying the Milwaukee Bucks and still needed a prayer of a bank shot from Jayson Tatum to steal the win. They also got some help from the reigning MVP. So we have two top teams in the East, both coming off wins on Christmas Day. This could low-key be the best game on the holiday slate.
Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics, 5:00 p.m. ET ABC
ATS Pick: Nets -2
This will probably be the most competitive matchup in the slate. Brooklyn showcased its scoring prowess by putting up 125 points against the Warriors. The Celtics are much better defensively but are at a major disadvantage at point guard without Kemba Walker. I love Kyrie Irving’s odds to win his matchup against Jeff Teague. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can compete against any team but the Nets’ depth gives them an edge.
Player Prop: Kyrie Irving O4.5 Assists (-139)
This isn’t the most appealing number but the bet feels very safe. My thinking is the Celtics will throw Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown at Irving, which will force him to give the ball up more than he likes. If that’s the case, it should lead to more assist opportunities. Irving had 4 dimes in the opener against the Dubs. That was mostly because the game was over after the first quarter and Irving only played 25 minutes. In a competitive game, we can expect Kyrie to play at least 34-36 minutes. Again, not much juice but this feels good to me.
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