NBA – Celtics @ Nets -4.5 First Half (-110): 7:00 PM CT on ABC
Conventional wisdom says this series is going to be a runaway and I’m inclined to agree. The Boston Celtics have never faced the full wrath of a healthy Brooklyn Nets Big 3, and despite that good fortune during the regular season, they still went 0-3 ATS and straight up against the Nets.
The Celtics also had Jaylen Brown for two of those games but still lost both by double digits. Simply put, Brooklyn is poised to overwhelm Boston here, and I think they do it early. As the Nets geared up for the playoffs and approached full strength over their last four games, they beat this first-half margin every time and averaged a 10-point advantage.
Game 1’s are typically where the low-seeded team gets stomped as the high seed makes a statement. At full strength and with a week off to rest and prepare, I see Brooklyn firing on all cylinders early as they get out to a strong lead at halftime.
Bonus Bet: Kyrie Irving might miss games for strange reasons, but he certainly wasn’t going to miss any of the matchups against his former team. He played extremely well with that extra motivation and I think it continues here. For this game, I’m looking at his points-plus-assists prop to go over 27.5. He averaged 38 in the season series, and that was without the full complement of his Big 3 running mates. When he had at least one of the others playing he averaged 44 points-plus-assists. As long as this game doesn’t get too far out of hand and he gets rested, I think Kyrie can clear this total fairly easily.
NBA – Heat ML vs. Bucks (+170): 1:00 PM CT on ESPN
Who remembers the bubble run the Miami Heat went on last year? Well, during that run they dismantled the Milwaukee Bucks. Although the bubble wasn’t the same as real life, the Heat definitely remember that domination.
Just last week the Heat basically tanked their seeding game against the Bucks to pretty much solidify that they would play them again this week. Giannis Antetokounmpo has had his struggles in the playoffs and Jimmy Butler is a mental games wizard when it comes to exploiting any weaknesses so look for that to continue today.
I have it as a degenerate because the Heat haven’t been as consistent this year much in part to Tyler Herro’s struggles but for +170 value I can’t sleep on this Miami team against a Milwaukee team that skimpily wasn’t built for the playoffs.
Tiny Nick is 260-169 ATS (+80.4 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.