Celtics vs. Nets prediction and odds for Thursday, January 12 (Trust Boston with Durant out)

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It’s Kyrie Irving’s time to shine in Brooklyn, as Kevin Durant is out of the lineup with an MCL injury, leaving Irving to carry the load for the Brooklyn Nets for the foreseeable future.

The Nets are currently second in the Eastern Conference behind only the Boston Celtics, their opponent on Thursday night.

Boston beat the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, and now it has a chance to gain a game on Brooklyn at Barclays Center. These teams matched up in the first round of the playoffs last season with Boston sweeping the series.

The Celtics have been without Marcus Smart for a couple games, but it’s possible both he and Robert Williams III could play tonight against Brooklyn.

Can the KD-less compete with the league’s best team?

Here’s a look at the latest odds and a pick for this matchup:

Celtics vs. Nets odds, spread and total

Celtics vs. Nets prediction and pick

The Celtics are just 8-10 against the spread as road favorites this season, but I think they are still the team to back in this spot against Brooklyn.

The Nets’ offense has carried them this season, but without Durant that will almost certainly take a step back. Boston showed it could handle Irving in the playoffs last season, and the Celtics have the league’s best offense this season to make things even tougher on Brooklyn.

I’d prefer not to lay the points regardless since Boston is on a back-to-back and could sit a key player or two, but I still think the C’s win this game.

Brooklyn has lost both of its games as home dogs this season, and the Nets are 9-19 without KD over the last two seasons.

As long as one of Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum plays (neither is on the injury report as of this writing), the Celtics should emerge from Brooklyn with a win.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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