NBA returns, Celtics visit Nets


The NBA is back.

The All-Star break officially ends at 7 p.m. ET Thursday night as seven games restart the NBA season. That means there are plenty of opportunities to bet and there are a few enticing options tonight.

The biggest game of the night is the Boston Celtics’ trip to Brooklyn. Since it’s a Nets home game, Kyrie Irving won’t be available to play because of New York City’s vaccine mandate. And that means that Boston is favored by 7.5 points at BetMGM.

The Celtics have been phenomenal in recent weeks. Boston had won nine in a row until a one-point loss to the Pistons before the break and has won 11 of its last 13 games. That run of form has pushed Boston into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Remember, that’s the final guaranteed playoff spot. The teams in spots Nos. 7 through 10 have to play in the play-in tournament to officially qualify for the postseason.

Brooklyn is currently eighth in the East and is 2.5 games back of Boston. A home win on Thursday night bunches up the Eastern Conference field even more and goes a long way to getting Brooklyn out of the play-in tournament.

It’s worth considering before you bet the game that the Nets are the worst team in the NBA against the spread so far this season — remember, they’re one of just three teams already guaranteed not to hit the over on their preseason win total. Brooklyn is just 22-36-1 against the spread this season while Boston’s surge has pushed the Celtics to 29-29-2.

See also  Nets could be profitable against the Knicks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics is defended by DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Brooklyn Nets in the second half at Barclays Center on February 08, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 08: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics is defended by DeAndre’ Bembry #95 of the Brooklyn Nets in the second half at Barclays Center on February 08, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

We’re inclined to bet a low-scoring game and the under of 213.5 points. Boston’s defense has been great lately and without Irving, Kevin Durant or Ben Simmons, we’d be surprised if Brooklyn put up a ton of points.

Out in the West, Memphis heads to Minnesota in an incredibly intriguing game featuring two talented young teams overachieving vs. their preseason expectations. Memphis hits the over on its preseason win total with a win on Thursday night while the Wolves are just a few wins away.

The Grizzlies are 2.5-point favorites and the the total here is just a few points bigger than it is in Brooklyn at 239.5. If you have League Pass and love high-scoring basketball, you should watch this one instead of the Celtics and Nets on TNT.

See also  Phoenix Suns focused on winning championship as NBA investigators prepare to interview Robert Sarver

Memphis is the best team in the NBA against the spread so far this season at a wild 40-20. Minnesota is 30-28-1.

Other games include the Suns traveling to Oklahoma City without Chris Paul. The star point guard suffered a thumb injury right before the All-Star break and could be out the rest of the regular season. Phoenix is favored by 9.5 points and you may want to go with OKC at home. The Thunder are 35-19-4 against the spread.

Honda Classic begins

Thursday is the first round of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida. Sungjae Im is the favorite at +1200. Brooks Koepka has been the overwhelming choice of bettors ahead of the tournament and he’s moved into a tie for the No. 2 favorite with Daniel Berger at +1600. Genesis Invitational winner Joaquin Niemann is at +1800 along with Louis Oosthuizen.

If you’re looking for a flier, you can do a lot worse than Keith Mitchell at +2800.

Europa League games Thursday

There’s a full slate of Europa League games on Thursday featuring European stalwarts like Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, and Porto.

Barcelona plays at Napoli in the game of the day at 3 p.m. ET. The teams tied in their first leg and Barcelona is at +160 to win in regulation on Thursday. Napoli is right behind at +165 and a regulation tie is at +240.

See also  Toppin scores 42, Reaves records triple-double

Dortmund lost 4-2 at home to Rangers in the first leg. The German team is -140 to win at Rangers on Thursday, but Dortmund needs to win by three or more goals to advance in the tournament.

Lazio hosts Porto after Porto got a 2-1 home win in the first leg. Lazio is +130 to win at home in the second leg while Porto is +210 and a tie is +240.

Who cashed tickets Wednesday?

Virginia covered by 1.5 points as a home underdog in a 65-61 loss to No. 5 Duke on Wednesday night. LSU covered as a road dog against No. 6 Kentucky as the Wildcats hung on to win 71-66 as 7.5-point favorites.

Minnesota also covered as an underdog against No. 13 Wisconsin. The Badgers were favored by 5.5 points and Wisconsin got a 68-67 win.



Source link