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Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics odds, picks and predictions

The Brooklyn Nets (32-32) visit TD Garden Sunday to take on the Boston Celtics (38-27). Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET (ABC). Below, we look at the Nets vs. Celtics odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Celtics will play their third straight home game, looking for a third straight home win. They took down the Grizzlies, currently second in the Western Conference, 120-107 Thursday in their most recent outing.

The Celtics have covered six of their last 10 and are averaging the 17th-most points per game (109.3). Their strength lies in their defensive identity, ranking first in opponents’ field-goal percentage (43.0%).

As for the Nets, they’ll welcome back PG Kyrie Irving as he should be available to play in Boston. Irving is averaging 25.1 points per game in 15 games played this season.

Brooklyn is 25-37-2 against the spread (ATS), but it is just 2-4 ATS over its last six. However, the Nets are 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10, so it’s been a mixed bag of performances as of late.

Nets at Celtics odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:03 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Nets +133 (bet $100 to win $133) | Celtics -165 (bet $165 to win $100)
  • Against the spread: Nets +3.5 (-108) | Celtics -3.5 (-112)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 227.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

Nets at Celtics key injuries

Nets

  • SG Seth Curry (ankle) probable
  • PG Ben Simmons (reconditioning) out

Celtics

  • SG Jaylen Brown (ankle) questionable

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Nets at Celtics odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Celtics 117, Nets 112

Money line

PASS.

I don’t love playing the -165 money line when Irving is going to be playing. The last time Irving took the court, the Nets defeated the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks. I still favor Boston but prefer the points.

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Against the spread

LEAN to the CELTICS -3.5 (-112).

For starters, wait until Brown’s playing status is officially announced. This is the play if he’s available as he’s a huge difference-maker as the team’s second-leading scorer.

Nonetheless, the Celtics have the best defense in the NBA efficiency wise, and their strength comes from their defensive backcourt with lockdown defenders PG Marcus Smart and PG Derrick White.

That should bode well for Boston considering Brooklyn’s two top threats, Curry and Irving, are guards.

The Celtics rank eighth in opponent’s fast-break points per game, whereas the Nets find strength in transition, ranking 13th in fast-break points. Lastly, the Nets are just 16-22-1 ATS in conference games.

Over/Under

BET OVER 227.5 (-108).

The Celtics are 6-4-1 O/U over their last 10 games. The Nets are 7-3 O/U over their last 10.

While Boston has played well defensively this season,  despite how good a team is defensively, Irving can be better offensively.

The Nets rank 12th in pace and the Celtics sit 11th in true-shooting rate. So, Brooklyn should bring more shots, while Boston is better at knocking it down.

However, with Irving, Brooklyn’s offense should look much better, putting 126 on the Bucks the last time he took the court.

Combine it all, and I like the Over here.

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