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Spurs @ Nets Predictions 5/12/21: Fade the public in Harden's return

How will James Harden play tonight as the Nets entertain the Spurs?
How will James Harden play tonight as the Nets entertain the Spurs?
By Zachary Rainey

The Brooklyn Nets take on the San Antonio Spurs tonight and our man Zach Rainey gives us his picks and props he likes ahead of the encounter...

Bettors and NBA fans alike could be in for a treat tonight as the Brooklyn Nets host the San Antonio Spurs. 

The San Antonio Spurs have the seventh-best record against the spread at 37-30-1, with Brooklyn hovering just above .500 ATS.. 

The line currently sits at Brooklyn -5.5 on BetRivers but could be on the move quickly depending on what happens pregame. James Harden is listed as probable for the first time in what feels like forever, but from what I’ve seen, has to clear pregame warmups before being given the “okay” or not. 

The Nets could also be without Kyrie Irving. He is currently listed as questionable with a facial contusion. If all three stars take the floor, I could see this number going up to or beyond -7. But if it turns out it’s only Durant, the line could go a half-point or so in the other direction. 

The public is sure to be all over the Nets tonight with this news. However, I don’t think the public realizes San Antonio is the best team ATS on the road, covering 66.7 percent of the time at 22-11-1. The numbers hold up when you look at record as an away underdog, ad San Antonio covers 65.4 percent of those situations. 

Brooklyn is also tied for second to last in the NBA ATS with no rest at just 5-8, 38.5 percent of the time. It doesn’t help that the Nets will also be without sharpshooter Joe Harris. Obviously Harden is a game-changer, but we don’t know if he’ll be on a minutes restriction or what percentage healthy is he. 

The numbers say take San Antonio here and I like them in this spot. While they’re basically locked into the No. 10 seed with two and a half games separating them from the Memphis Grizzlies in the nine spot and are the same margin ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the 10 spot. 

But I think DeMar DeRozan wants the challenge tonight of going against KD. 

DeRozan is one of the league’s best scorers, he just doesn’t do it in an analytically friendly way. Today’s basketball is all about the drive-and-kick, and catch-and-shoot from three. DeRozan has never been good at 3s, so unlike some players, he doesn’t take them just because that’s what the analytics say to do. 

But he still averages 21.5 per game this season and has increased his assists from 5.6 to 7.1 this year, a career-high. This is also the last year of DeRozan’s contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

While yes, the Spurs as a team have nothing left to play for during the remainder of the regular season, DeRozan is pretty much looking for these last few games, including the play-in, as an audition of sorts for suitors interested in signing him this offseason. 

One last thing. If Brooklyn’s core three play tonight, or even just two and both will be out there in crunch time, see if you can take a live bet on Brooklyn around -1 in the fourth quarter. 

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Bet $1 & get $200 in Free bets. New customers only, a deposit (min $10) is required to participate in the offer. T&Cs apply.
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New Customers only, T&Cs apply ,21+, NJ only.
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21+, NJ residents only, T&C's apply.
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21+, New customers only, T&Cs apply, NJ only.
Get $100 in free bets when you bet $20
Min $25 stake, New Plyrs, 21+, T&Cs apply.