Daily Underdog Picks: Red-hot Celtics will upset Nets
The New York Knicks, our current flavor of the month for sports betting, aren’t in action on Friday, so we’ll have to shift our focus elsewhere tonight to find some plucky underdogs to wager on.
Here are the three teams we like most in the NBA and NHL for this evening's slate of games.
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Fri, April 23 2021, 11:40 PM
There was a time not so long ago when we would have avoided betting on the Celtics, but Boston is red-hot as it prepares for a showdown with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics have won nine of their last 11 games and are 6-0 against the spread in their last six road games. Their latest straight-up victory was an ugly 13-point win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. The Celtics held the Suns to just 86 points, putting up a stiff defensive performance against the top team in the Pacific Division.
Meanwhile, the Nets are 4-4 in their last eight games and have been up and down lately. They went off against New Orleans earlier in the week, but followed that up the next day with just 103 points against the lowly Toronto Raptors.
🚨 BLAKE DUNK 🚨— theScore (@theScore) April 21, 2021
James Harden is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, while Kevin Durant could make his return to the Nets' lineup Friday. He’s currently listed as questionable to return with a thigh injury. In Boston, Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown are listed as day to day, but are expected to miss Friday’s game.
Despite the possibility that Durant could play, the Celtics remain the hotter of the two teams and should be able to keep this game close enough to cover as 5.5-point underdogs.
Pick: Celtics (+5.5)
Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Fri, April 23 2021, 11:40 PM
The Atlanta Hawks are in a fight for the NBA playoffs, along with their opponents tonight, the Miami Heat, so there should be an intense feel to this game.
As a home team, the Hawks are 16-11 against the spread, and have won three of their last five games. They’re still home underdogs tonight against a Heat team that has won three straight games, albeit against weak competition.
Where the Hawks might run into trouble here is on the injury front. Trae Young, who leads the Hawks in points (25.3) and assists per game (9.6), is out tonight with an ankle injury.
Trae Young goes down with an apparent lower leg injury...Prayers up. 🙏— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 22, 2021
That’s the most significant injury the Hawks are dealing with, but it's not the only one. Atlanta is expected to be without De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish among others, so this will test the strength of their depth at an important time in their schedule.
Despite the injuries, we’re going with the home underdogs from Atlanta to cover as 5.5-point underdogs.
Pick: Hawks (+5.5)
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers
Fri, April 23 2021, 11:00 PM
It’s been one step forward and two steps backwards for the Philadelphia Flyers this season, but tonight they get a chance to make it two straight wins, and we're backing them as moneyline underdogs.
The Flyers face the Rangers again tonight, after winning Thursday’s contest at Madison Square Garden 3-2.
Let's do it all again tomorrow.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 23, 2021
⭐️: @KidElls1 (33 saves)
⭐️⭐️: @JVReemer21 (1g off his face, 1g off his stick)
⭐️⭐️⭐️: Provy (2a)@Toyota | #PHIvsNYR pic.twitter.com/7l5OAIEZIk
The Flyers have endured their share of struggles and bad play, but they have been able to get the best of the Rangers in their season series so far. Philadelphia is 4-2-1 against the Rangers head-to-head, while going 12-8-3 overall on the road.
The Rangers are expected to be without defenseman Jacob Trouba due to an upper body injury.
Winning the second half of a back-to-back will provide a challenge for the inconsistent Flyers, but Thursday’s win should give them confidence as they look to make it five wins in eight games against the Rangers this season.
Pick: Flyers (+132)