Celtics vs. Nets NBA Best Bets for Tuesday

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics. Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images/AFP

The Brooklyn Nets are in all sorts of trouble. Can they beat the NBA odds this Tuesday when they host the Boston Celtics?

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

Tuesday, February 08, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at Barclays Center

It’s going to take a lot to knock the Brooklyn Nets off their perch. Despite losing eight straight games at 1-6-1 ATS, the Nets (29-24 SU, 20-32-1 ATS) are still the +350 title favorites at many sportsbooks, and +180 to win the Eastern Conference – where they’ve fallen into seventh place at press time. Kevin Durant (knee) is expected out until mid-March. Kyrie Irving (anti-vax) isn’t allowed to play in Brooklyn. And James Harden (hamstring) missed the last two games, after struggling in his recent return from a hand injury.

Compare and contrast to the Boston Celtics (30-25 SU, 27-27-1 ATS), winners of five straight at 3-2 ATS to move into a virtual tie with Brooklyn. This has still been a disappointing season for Boston, who are +6600 at BetMGM to win the title, but they’re relatively healthy for a change, and they might be the right NBA pick for Tuesday’s matchup – depending on who suits up for the Nets.

Question Time

This is a tricky spot for bettors. Harden is listed as questionable to face the Celtics, so the NBA odds are on hold; Nicolas Claxton (hamstring) is in the same boat as Harden, and LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) has just been ruled out. There’s not much left in the cupboard for head coach Steve Nash to cook with.

The last time we dealt with Brooklyn in this space, we stayed away from the spread entirely and took the Under for Friday’s game against the Utah Jazz. Harden ended up missing that game, Donovan Mitchell made his return for Utah, and sure enough, the Jazz won 125-102 (Under 228) as 5.5-point road faves. A similar result could be in the cards for Tuesday if Harden isn’t able to go.

Boston Molasses Incident

But what if he is? With Harden hampered by multiple injuries, it would normally be de rigueur to fade Brooklyn in that case – if they didn’t have all these other missing superstars. It’s easy for the betting public to overlook how broken-down Harden is at the moment, but harder for us to take advantage when Durant and Irving aren’t around to provide some stability.

That Under might still have some legs, though. The Nets (Under 28-24-1) and especially the Celtics (Under 32-22-1) have made this a profitable choice for your NBA picks this year, with Boston’s offense struggling to take shape for new head coach Ime Udoka. The C’s are also one of the slowest teams in the league at 98.0 possessions per game, and third overall in defensive efficiency at 103.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Put that team up against the Nets, and whether you include a gimpy Harden or no Harden at all, a low-scoring affair seems to be in the cards. Pay close attention to the morning shoot-around to see what the plan is for Brooklyn, and bet accordingly once the totals hit the board.

NBA Pick: Under 217.5 (-110) at Caesars