Kyrie Irving and the city of Boston have a complicated history, in the same way that the
Hatfields and the McCoys have a complicated history. Boston Celtics fans hate that Kyrie Irving was on the team, and mad that he left for the Brooklyn Nets, and mad that he stepped on a drawing of a leprechaun, and mad that he got Jaylen Brown in trouble. So they are going to yell at him hard!
The other rivalry game on ESPN this Wednesday night is a battle with less history, but deep commercial stakes. State Farm spokesman Trae Young and his Atlanta Hawks are playing State Farm spokesman Chris Paul in a game with big implications for each team’s playoff hopes. And even bigger implications for the heart of a man named Jake. (He’s an insurance agent.)
Brooklyn knocked Boston out of the playoffs two years ago, and Boston returned the favor with a first-round sweep last year. Will Kyrie get revenge on Al Horford, Dave Portnoy, Mark Wahlberg and Sam Malone with a big win? Will Ben Simmons attempt his second three-pointer of the year to stick it in Boston’s face? Will Jacque Vaughn receive the traditional winning coach’s clam chowder bath after a big win?
But what do all four of these teams have in common? They’ve all employed seven-time All-Star, BIG3 MVP, isolation specialist and future Hall of Famer Joe Johnson. Who’s going to win it for Iso Joe tonight? We’re not sure, but we do have some same-game parlays.
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
The Celtics are nine-point favorites at home, even without point guard Marcus Smart (ankle) and possibly Robert Williams III (different ankle). The over/under is 224 points.
#NEBHInjuryReport for tomorrow vs. Brooklyn:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2023
Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) - OUT
Marcus Smart (right ankle sprain) - OUT
Robert Williams (left ankle sprain) - QUESTIONABLE
Brooklyn is missing Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and T.J. Warren, but don’t worry Yuta-heads, Yuta Watanabe is probable.
Status Report for tonight’s game at Boston pic.twitter.com/rHpUgssAHv— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 1, 2023
The Celtics have done a good job guarding Kyrie Irving, especially when Kevin Durant isn’t on the floor. We think Uncle Drew scoring parlays are a stayaway, but we like Jaylen Brown-Jayson Tatum parlays. Betting Boston on the moneyline, Tatum scoring 30+ points, and Brown getting 20+ yields a modest +145. If you want to get more ambitious, take Boston -9.5 points, Tatum getting 50+ points + rebounds + assists, and Brown getting 40+ of the same. That’s +1000.
If you do believe in the Nets, we suggest taking them to cover, not win. If you parlay the Nets +9.5 with Nic Claxton getting 12+ rebounds and 2+ blocks, and Irving getting 7+ rebounds and 1+ blocks, it’s a whopping +1700 payday.
Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns
Phoenix is favored by just a point with Devin Booker out. They’re also playing without guards Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet. The Hawks are expecting Trae Young to play, and are otherwise healthy, which explains the high over/under of 232.5 points.
Who do we like in this game? John Collins, who has seemingly been on the trading block for the majority of his Atlanta career. He sounds ready to say goodbye to the Hawks, and what better way to speed that along than by playing well in front of a team that’s also looking to unload an unhappy forward. We like parlaying Collins scoring 15+ points with him grabbing 7.5+ rebounds, along with the over, for +625.
Also at +625, there’s an enticing parlay of the Hawks on the moneyline, with Trae Young getting 30+ points and 10+ assists. We also like what could be called the State Farm Assist parlay: Young and Paul both getting 10+ assists. If you like Phoenix on the moneyline, it pays out at +500. We like the Hawks, which gives you a little extra, +550.
Our favorite longshot? Chris Paul triple-double, parlayed with Phoenix on the moneyline. It’s +2200. Look, Patrick Mahomes is taking jazz baths at the Super Bowl soon. This national TV game may be Paul’s best chance to assert himself as State Farm’s alpha dog. Maybe he’ll even get his twin brother back!