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NBA SO/UP Picks and Betting Analysis for Nets-Mavericks, Celtics-Lakers

The Eastern Conference-leading Nets travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks, and the Celtics and Lakers reignite a famed rivalry.

The Nets are living up to preseason expectations. The other four teams on the Tuesday SO/UP schedule? Not so much.

Doug Vazquez is back as our guest picker. Let’s get into the games.

Season record: 35-31
Guest pickers: 20-40

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Dec 4, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) dribbles as Chicago Bulls forward Derrick Jones Jr. (5) defends during the second half at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn Nets (16-7) vs. Dallas Mavericks (11-11)

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Spread: Nets -3.5 (-110) | Mavericks +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Nets (-167) | Mavericks (+140)
Total: Under 215.5 (-110) | Over 215.5 (-110)
Injuries: Mavericks G Luka Doncic—Day-to-day; Mavericks F Tim Hardaway Jr.—Day-to-day; Mavs C Kristaps Porzingis—Day-to-day; Mavericks C Willie Caulie-Stein—Day-to-day

Brooklyn climbed to first place in the Eastern Conference on the back of consistent greatness from Kevin Durant, steadily improving play from James Harden and reliable contributions from LaMarcus Aldridge. Who’s to say how that Big 3 will hold up against the best trios in the NBA with a 36-year-old Aldridge bringing up the rear, but it’s working for now for Steve Nash and the Nets.

All of Brooklyn’s losses have come against playoff teams—they’re 7-0 against teams that are below .500 and 9-7 against teams above .500, according to ClutchPoints.

The Nets rank 12th in scoring offense (109.5 PPG), with a large percentage of their points coming from Durant (28.6 PPG) and Harden (20.6 PPG). Brooklyn is No. 11 in scoring defense (105.8 PPG) and has the sixth-best point differential (+3.6 PPG).

The Mavericks are in a tailspin, having lost seven of its last 10 games to fall to .500. Dallas has drawn a particularly tough schedule as of late, getting the Suns and Clippers back-to-back to begin their skid. Availability has been an issue—the team is 0-4 without Luka Doncic and 3-4 without Kristaps Porzingis, who are both are on the injury report.

The Mavericks’ offense is among the league’s worst. Dallas ranks 25th in scoring offense (104.5 PPG), which is an eight-point decrease from last season. A league average defense (106.2 PPG) is keeping the Mavericks afloat.

Kyle Wood's picks:

Spread pick: Nets -3.5

The Nets have not fared well Against the Spread (ATS), covering in less than 40% of their games. The Mavericks have not been much better, covering a little more than 40% of the time. I’m going with the better team that’s 8-2 on the road.

Over/Under pick: Under 218.5

Both teams’ games go under more than half of the time, and their defenses both outperform their offenses. Dallas’ inability to score is convincing me to take the under. Even if Brooklyn flirts with 110, this game can still stay under. 

Prop: James Harden Points + Assists Over 31.5

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Harden can go over a 31.5-point total on any given night. Add in his 9.5 assists per game and that’s plenty of cushion. He failed to go over in his past two outings, hitting 28 and 29 in those games, but I like him to put it all together against Dallas.

Guest picker Doug Vazquez’s picks:

Spread pick: Nets -3.5

Coming off a loss at home to the Bulls on Saturday, the Nets head to the Big D to take on the reeling Mav. Their three best players (Doncic, Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr.) have all been battling injuries but should be good to go. Even with the loss to Chicago and streaky shooting as of late, Brooklyn has won nine of 12. Losing Joe Harris has been significant, and Harden has been very inconsistent as of late. Their defense has been really good, which has made up for some of their offensive woes. Even if Dallas has their Big 3 back, I think the Nets are just too good defensively. Expect a big game from Durant, who is having an MVP caliber season. I’m laying the 3.5 here.

Over/Under pick: Over 218.5

Both teams have been struggling in their own ways with injuries and inconsistent shooting, but both should be fairly rested Tuesday and key players will be back from injuries for Dallas. With Doncic and Durant being two of the preeminent scorers the league has ever seen, I feel like the total here is a little low at 218.5. I'm taking the over.

Prop: James Harden Over 21.5 Points

I'm hoping a couple days of rest is going to bode well for Harden. He has been kind of a wild card on the offensive end, but this is a good opportunity for him to put up some points. With Harris sidelined and Harden’s struggling, the Nets should be looking to get Harden right again and let him have his way with the ball.

Dec 4, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates after scoring a three point basket during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Celtics won 145-117.

Boston Celtics (13-11) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (12-12)

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Spread: Celtics +2.5 (-110) | Lakers -2.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Celtics (+115) | Lakers (-138)
Total: Under 220.5 (-110) | Over 220.5 (-110)
Injuries: Celtics G Jaylen Brown—Day-to-day; Lakers F Trevor Ariza—Out; Lakers G Kendrick Nunn—Out

Boston has never been too hot or cold this season. Two wins here, a few losses there. Guard Jaylen Brown has missed substantial time, while Jayson Tatum’s shot attempts are up and his field-goal percentage is down. Tatum has still been the Celtics’ best player, leading Boston in points per game (25.2) and rebounds per game (8.8).

The Celtics have 12th-best scoring offense (108.9 PPG) and No. 15 scoring defense (106.5 PPG). Boston is 7-7 outside of TD Garden.

The Lakers have yet to find a rhythm with their new-look roster. A large part of that is due to injuries to LeBron James and Talen Horton-Tucker, two of three holdovers from last season. Anthony Davis’ counting stats have been plenty respectable, but he’s not the force he once was and Russell Westbrook has already shown L.A. fans the full Russ experience—both the good and the  bad.

Los Angeles has no issues scoring. The Lakers have the fourth-ranked scoring offense (111.7 PPG) thanks to Westbrook, James and Davis all averaging at least 20 points. Defense, long a hallmark of Frank Vogel-coached teams, is the concern. The Lakers rank 29th in opponent scoring (113.4 PPG).

Kyle Wood's picks:

Spread pick: Lakers -2.5

The Celtics won by 22 the last time these two teams played in Boston and in James’ first game back from a long absence. Los Angeles is approaching some baseline of a healthy team and needs to to make a move on the top six seeds with a quarter of the season complete. The Lakers buck their 8-16 ATS record and cover at home.

Over/Under pick: Over 217.5

L.A. is a defensive sieve with the offensive firepower to at least counteract their shortcomings on the other side of the ball. Boston also has a great offense, scoring 130 and 145 in its past two games. This game should hit the over with relative ease.

Prop: Russell Westbrook Over 7.5 Assists

Westbrook averages 8.6 assists, which already gives me some comfort taking the over. Add in the fact that he’s gone over in three of his past five games and that this should be a high-scoring contest and I’m all over Westbrook dishing eight or more dimes.

Guest picker Doug Vazquez’s picks:

Spread pick: Celtics +2.5

After splitting the first two games of their five-game road trip, the Celtics take on their archrival Lakers. Brown has been out the last two games and is questionable. That hasn’t hampered Boston’s offense as it's averaged 137.5 points per game in the last two without him. Tatum and Co. have been pretty solid on both ends of the floor.

The Lakers have kind of been a disaster all season and are s struggling with injuries. AD and LeBron are both on the injury report but are expected to play. The Celtics have been clicking on all cylinders, despite their loss against Utah, and like them in this matchup as well. I like the Celtics getting the points here with or without Brown.

Over/Under pick: Under 220.5

My bet here will factor in the availability of Brown, LeBron and AD. With that being said, I am expecting this to go under the total of 220.5. The Lakers’ offense has been pretty disjointed and the Celtics have been really good defensively as of late. If both teams are healthy this total may change before game time, but it still seem high to me

Prop: Marcus Smart Over 11.5 Points

Smart is averaging 11.3 PPG this season. Even if Brown plays, I think Ime Udoka is going to limit his minutes. That opens up more scoring opportunities for Smart. He had 22 against the Lak in their last outing and I expect a similar game from him here.

DFS Value Plays

(Prices based on 7:30 p.m. main slate)

PG/SG Dennis Schroeder, Celtics (FD: $5,200 | DK: $6,400)
SF/SG Dorian Finney-Smith, Mavericks (FD: $5,500 | DK: $4,300)
SG/SF DeAndre’ Bembry, Nets (FD: $4,500 | DK: $4,300)
C/PF LaMarcus Aldridge, Nets (FD: $5,600 | DK: $5,700)
C Jakob Poeltl, Spurs (FD: $6,300 | DK: $5,900)

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