Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs Game Preview – March 01, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| March 1, 2021 5:57 am PDT

Both of these teams have started the season off well as the Spurs lead the Southwest Division and the Nets find themselves in second place in the Atlantic Division, fractionally behind Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia.

The recent head-to-head record is close as they have both won three matches each from the previous six played. However, the Nets have the momentum on their side as they have won the last two meetings. Their win in San Antonio last time out ended a run of 18 defeats in a row. This record dated as far back as 2003, the best part of 20 years.

Over the previous ten encounters, the Spurs have averaged ten more points per game than the Nets and will therefore welcome their visit tonight. This superior points total is down to their second-half displays as the average have time score during these games is 50-50.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Nets vs. Spurs Match Odds

Nets -3.5-110
Spurs +3.5-110
Nets To Win-150
Spurs To Win+145
Over 234.5 Points-110
Under 234.5 Points-110

I thought the betting would be slightly closer than it is given the Spur’s good record against the Nets. The odds that stand out to me are the total points set for this game. It looks incredibly high, especially when you see that their average combined score over their previous ten matches is only 208.

The Nets have a good record as the underdogs this season, winning eight of the ten matches they have enters as the betting outsiders.

When they last met, the handicap was almost the same, and on that night, the Nets covered it comfortably, beating the Spurs by 19 points.

Nets News

The Nets had a run of eight straight victories ended last time out when the Mavericks comfortably beat them at the weekend. It was a surprise defeat as the Nets had beaten some excellent teams during their win streak, including the Pacers, the Suns, and both LA teams.

Brooklyn has the best record on the road in the East, having won nine of their 16 road trips to date. This includes winning the last five in a row, so they will be confident that they can ensure that the Spurs won’t start another long win streak against them tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for Brooklyn:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Nets have only lost one of their last nine games.
Total Four of their previous five matches have gone under the betting total.
SU They have only won two of their last ten meetings with the Spurs.
ATS Brooklyn has won their previous five games on the road.
SU The Nets have won nine of their last ten matches against teams from the Western Conference.
Total The total has gone under in 12 of their previous 18 games played in March.

The above trends highlight three things: the Nets are in great form, they have struggled against the Spurs, and that the points total is likely to be lower than the bookmakers anticipate.

Then again, perhaps not when you see that the Nets have the number one ranked offense in the NBA at present. They average 120 points per game and have a field goal percentage of just under 50%. They also score at 40% from the three-point range, close to some of the other team’s success rate from inside the D.

They haven’t always rebounded the best, but with shooting figures like that, most nights, they haven’t had to.

The Nets move the ball around the court quickly and reasonably accurately, which has led to many assists this season. The Veteran James Harden has contributed to many of these assists this season, and he leads the NBA rankings. However, he seemed to meet his match last time when he came up against the Mavericks Luka Doncic. Harden spoke after the game of his admiration for the rising star.

Their defense is feeble and concedes on average 116 points per game. They have rebounded much better in defense, but that’s about all they are doing right. Brooklyn put so much into their attack that there is very little left in the tank to defend. This is reflected in their low steals average, which is amongst the worst in the league as they don’t seem to have the energy to make them.

The Nets have a long list of injuries right now, including Durant and Dinwiddie, who have been ruled out through injury. There are also question marks over the fitness of Green and Luwawu-Cabarrot. However, they are hopeful of having both Irving and Johnson back tonight.

Spurs News

The Spurs will be spurred on by their recent form as they have won six of their last eight games. Their only two defeats came when their offense failed, and they scored under 100 points in losses to the Warriors and the Thunder.

Their home form has been indifferent, and they have a split record of eight wins and eight defeats from their 16 matchups. However, they come into this game in good form, having won three of their previous four home fixtures. Those three wins all came by close margins of three, five, and three, while their defeat was a 23 point mauling.

Here are the latest betting trends for San Antonio:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Spurs have only lost two of their last seven games.
Total Six of their previous eight matches have gone under the betting total.
Total The total has gone over in under in ten of their last 14 games against Brooklyn.
Total Only one of their previous five home fixtures has failed to go under the points total.
SU San Antonio is 9-4 in their last 13 matches.
ATS They have won their previous six games against teams from the West Coast.
ATS The Spurs has only lost two of their last nine games against teams based in the Atlantic Division.
Total The total has gone under in 13 of their previous 20 matches played in March.

Despite other trends and patterns, there is only one thing I need to talk about here, and that is this game has under the points total written all over it.

I’m even more confident when I look at the Spur’s offense and see that it only averages 110 points per game, and they are scoring at 45%. While these figures or not the worst in the league, it does mean they aren’t going to trouble the scoreboard or the net too often.

The Spur’s best attribute going forward is controlling the pace of the game and retaining possessions well. This is reflected in them turning the ball over only 11 times per game on average which is the best in the NBA.

Their defense is much better and is ranked just outside the top ten in the league. They are well drilled and always seem to have a clear game plan each time they step onto the court.

This superb discipline was recently brought into disrepute when Dejounte Murray kicked the ball away in their defeats against the Thunder. Murray is an industry player and a workhorse for the Spurs, so I would say this was out of character for him. He was later fined $25,000, so I can’t imagine that he will be doing it again anytime soon.

The Spurs also have many players on tonight through quarantine protocol restrictions. They will miss Gay, White, Weatherspoon, and Vassell, while Johnson struggles with conditioning to be ready in time for tonight’s matchup.

Nets vs. Spurs Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 234.5 Points
    -110

Both of these teams come into this game in great form and have aspirations of going far this season. However, I’m really can only talk about one thing, and that is how obvious the under the points total selection looks here. There is no doubt that they have both been involved in plenty of high-scoring games this season, especially the Nets, and with that, the bookmakers have continues to increase the points total. However, it has gotten to a point where it is too high, and therefore both teams have seen a lot of ‘under’ games more recently. I don’t see that changing tonight, especially given their head-to-head history, where they have averaged 25 points under the total set tonight.

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