In the third playoff game tip-off on Saturday, the No. 7 seed Boston Celtics will play the No. 2 seed Brooklyn Nets at 8:00 p.m. ET. The Nets swept the season series from the Celtics in dominating fashion. Meanwhile, the Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the play-in tournament to capture the seventh spot.
Below is a look at a number of predictions ahead of DAY night’s game for the Free $5K DraftKings Pools - Playoff Edition (BKN-BOS).
Which team will cover the spread? Nets -7.5 or Celtics +7.5
Heading into Game 1, the Celtics are major underdogs to their Atlantic division rivals. There aren’t many fans or experts who expect them to win multiple games. To be honest, the C’s best chance to win a game might be tonight. They are currently 7.5 point underdogs, which does not come as surprise with their best offensive players being Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum.
Boston is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against Brooklyn, but are 19-17 ATS on the road this season. However, I find it hard to see covering the spread against a full healthy Brooklyn squad. In the regular season, the Nets won by an average of 15 points in their three-game series. The best bet here is Nets -7.5.
Total points for Nets-Celtics? O/U 225.5
During their three matchups in the regular season, the point total has only gone over 225.5 points once. The Nets can put up points as they are averaging 118.6 points per game this season, which is good for second in the NBA. However, the point total has gone under in six out of Brooklyn’s last nine games. While the same can be said for Celtics as the point total has gone under four out of their last five games.
Which team will reach 30 points first? Nets or Celtics
This is probably one of the easier selections in the free pool. The Nets should reach 30 points with relatively ease. This season, Brooklyn is averaging 29.5 points per first quarter and 29.3 points at home. They have multiple scoring options on the floor, who will pose problems for the Celtics on the perimeter.
Which player will finish with the most points, rebounds and assists? Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving
This is a tough one because all three players are good and stuff the stat sheet. But that being said, I’m going to go with Tatum. For Boston to have any chance to win this game, they will need the first-time All-star to leave his impact on the game. In three games vs. the Nets this season, Tatum is producing 29.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.
Which combination of players will have more Points and Assists? Tatum and Walker or Irving and Durant
Another easy selection as the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are the best choice. The only way Tatum and Walker come close is if they can replicate their performance from Tuesday night. The duo combined for an insane 79 points. Irving will be the facilitator sometimes, but that will more likely on Harden’s shoulders, which should free up Durant and Irving to score.
Total points for Kevin Durant? O/U 26.5
In his last five games, Durant has surprisingly gone under 26.5 points four times. But in his last 10 games, he has gone over 26.5 points four times. In his lone game against the Celtics, Durant scored 29 points in 33 minutes. The under is the better play, with Irving and Harden also having favorable matchups.
Total points for Jayson Tatum? O/U 26.5
For the Celtics to stand a chance, it will rest on Tatum’s shoulder. Aforementioned, he has played great against the Nets this season, averaging 29.7 points per game. In his last five games, the former first-round pick has gone over 26.5 points four times.
Total 3-pointers made by James Harden? O/U 2.5
This seems like too easy of a number for Harden to hit, who is shooting 36.2% from three-point range on 7.6 attempts per game. In his last five games, Harden has only gone over 2.5 threes made twice. Furthermore, in his lone contest against Boston, he shot 12.5% from behind the arc. Despite what the percentages say, Harden can easily go over this total.
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