Celtics vs Nets NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions May 22

Updated: May 20, 2021

The Celtics knocked off the Wizards in the play-in tournament and will begin their postseason against the No. 2 seed Nets.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament, which gave them the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The C’s will now take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, with game one coming Saturday in Brooklyn. 

Will Boston find a way to steal game one on the road? Find out in our best free NBA betting picks and predictions for Celtics vs. Nets on May 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Celtics vs Nets game info

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Saturday, May 22, 2021
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Nets odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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The line opened at Nets -8, with the total at 228. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Celtics vs Nets series odds

Celtics: +750
Nets: -1,200

Celtics vs Nets betting preview


Celtics: C Robert Williams (Questionable), F Jaylen Brown (Out).
Nets: G Spencer Dinwiddie (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Celtics are 30-17 ATS as underdogs over the last two seasons. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. Nets.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Celtics looked good against the Wizards in the play-in tournament, and they’ll now head into this series in an underdog role that has suited them rather well under head coach Brad Stevens. Jaylen Brown’s absence is definitely a big one for Boston, but there is something to these players having more established roles moving forward. 

With Brown out, there is no longer any doubt that Jayson Tatum is the team’s go-to scorer, and he had 50 points in the win over the Wizards on Tuesday. Kemba Walker is now being relied on more as a scorer as well, and he delivered 29 points in that win over Washington. 

Brooklyn is a lot better defensively than given credit for, but both Tatum and Walker will have their moments in this series, and one would think that they’d do so in game one. They have a lot of time to prepare for this one, and there’s a little less pressure in a new series, rather than a potential scenario in which the Celtics are down 1-0 heading into the second game. 

The Nets could also experience some growing pains early on in the postseason. They should still be able to win these games, but they have not had a lot of time with their full lineup available. James Harden missed a lot of time towards the end of the season and it’s hard to imagine him and Kyrie Irving just magically developing chemistry. Overall, the Celtics are in a good spot to keep this first one close. 

PREDICTION: Celtics +8.0 (-108) 

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Coming into this game, the Nets have gone Over in three of their last five games, with all three of those going way Over what this total is set at. This game should also be relatively high scoring. Boston is without Brown, who is one of the game’s best defensive wings. 

Meanwhile, the Nets are incorporating Harden into the lineup, which makes them somewhat vulnerable on the defensive end. Harden is actually a much better defender than people think he is, but Brooklyn just hasn’t had much time to work on its schemes at full strength. The Celtics should be able to score a decent amount in this game, as they have been playing well offensively as of late. And the Nets are always a threat to score a ton. 

PREDICTION: Over 228.0 (-110)   

Player prop pick

Marcus Smart averaged 4.0 rebounds per game in April, and he is averaging 4.6 per game through five May games. Now, Smart heads to the playoffs, where the intensity of every game should bring out the most in him. Smart is always loaded with adrenaline in big games, and he is the heart and soul of a Celtics team that is hoping to show up and compete against the most talented lineup in basketball. 

Look for Smart to set the tone for Boston by doing the little things, and rebounding is one of them.

PREDICTION: Marcus Smart Over 3.5 Rebounds (-142) 

Celtics vs Nets betting card

  • Celtics +8 (-108)
  • Over 228 (-110)
  • Marcus Smart Over 3.5 Rebounds (-142)

Picks made on 5/20/2021 at 7:35 p.m. ET

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