The Brooklyn Nets are coming off their first win in their last four outings, a 104-94 win over the Indiana Pacers that brought their record up to 15-12. They have to be feeling good about that result, and they’ll get a huge boost for their matchup with the 14-12 Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in the Bay with Kevin Durant returning from a week out of the lineup due to COVID measures.
Free Picks: Golden State Warriors vs. Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant Comes Up Big Against Former Team (Season Betting Record: 32-32)
You’d think that missing time would lead to some rust, but when Kevin Durant dealt with a similar situation in early January, he showed no issue in dropping 36 points in his first game back. In the month of January as a whole, the Durantula was scoring 31.8 points per game. The Texas alumnus has also been known to make barbecue chicken of his former teams: Durant’s 31.8 points per game on 52.7 percent shooting from the field against the Oklahoma City Thunder are both tops among all opponents for him.
The Warriors now fall into that former team category, and Durant already loved playing against them, putting up 30.6 points a game against them in his career, which is his second-highest number against any opponent. He’s likely to come out with a chip on his shoulder after the peculiar way in which he was forced into the health and safety protocols last week, so take the over on his 28.5 points prop at lovely -110 NBA odds.
It was a shame for the Nets when Durant had to sit as well, because they had been on quite a roll before that, winning eight of their previous 10 games. Without Durant, the Nets lost their next three games before putting up their most impressive defense performance since the James Harden trade in holding a solid Indiana Pacers team to just 94 points. We can’t count on that happening on a nightly basis, but it’s encouraging nonetheless.
While Durant’s return will enliven the Nets, the Warriors will be coming into the matchup looking to win their third straight game, which has been mission impossible this season. Golden State has not won or lost more than three straight games this year, having gone 0-5 following two straight wins and 4-0 after two straight losses. Considering their consistent inconsistency, we like the Nets bought down to a more comfortable -2.5 point spread at still-decent -139 odds as another of our top picks for Saturday.
Brooklyn has been making it rain at the charity stripe this season, currently sitting fourth in the league in free throws made per game (19.3) and free throw percentage (82.3). That bodes well in a showdown with the Dubs, who are dead last in both fouls committed (22.7) and opponent free throws per game (27.3).
That potent Nets firepower had gone quiet during Durant’s unexpected absence, and the Nets failed to hit 120 points in each of their last four games. Brooklyn’s second-ranked scoring offense (120.4) also matches up well against Golden State’s 21st-ranked scoring defense (112.6). The sleeping giant is about to wake up, so we’re taking the over on Brooklyn’s 120.5 total team points prop at -110 odds as another of our best bets for today.
This game promises to give us a lot of fireworks, so why not a fourth pick for good luck? Golden State may be the definition of inconsistent this season, but the same can’t be said for their head chef. Curry has been doing some of his best cooking this season, sitting second in the league with 30.0 points per game as he makes a very serious run at his third MVP trophy.
Curry has been especially groovy lately, averaging 37.8 points and 7.0 triples per game on a mind-boggling 57/51/95 shooting line in six February contests, finishing with under 32 points only once during that stretch. He’s also averaging 36.3 points per game in six weekend contests this season. The guy is unconscious right now, so we’re going to try to cash in on some of that good Bay Area cookin with the over on Curry’s 32.5 points prop at -120 odds.
- Kevin Durant Over 28.5 Points (-110 odds, 22Bet)
- Brooklyn Nets -2.5 Alternate Point Spread (-139 odds, 22Bet)
- Brooklyn Nets Over 120.5 Total Points (-110 odds, 22Bet)
- Steph Curry Over 32.5 Points (-120 odds, 22Bet)
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.