Scott Foster, a well-known and controversial NBA referee, has been granted Monday night’s Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
And while some bettors may view that development and quickly take the Nets to win, or cover the current 1-point spread, there likely are others who want to stay away from the final outcome given how the series has played out thus far. After all, the Nets failed to cover the 3.5-point spread in Game 3 and are absolutely abysmal at covering as the home favorite. Brooklyn entered the first-round series as the league’s worst team at covering as a home favorite, now 5-28-1 this season after Saturday’s loss.
There is another wager that is enticing, though, considering Foster’s history.
The Celtics rank second in personal fouls against (22.4 fouls per game) in Foster-officiated contests during the official’s lengthy career. Boston trails only the Utah Jazz (22.7 fouls per game) in the category, being called for more fouls than 28 other NBA teams when Foster is on patrol. In turn, Boston’s opponents have shot more free throws than all but the Jazz (25.6 free throws per game) when Foster is officiating.
With that, Brooklyn’s free throws made prop bet, currently set at over/under 18.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, could pique the interest of some wanting to have a rooting interest in Celtics-Nets. The Over 18.5 essentially is an even-money wager (-110).
The Nets enter Game 4 having attempted just shy of 22 free throws during the 82-game season while making 17.5 free throws per game (80.5%). Of course, Kevin Durant’s 91% from the free-throw line in 55 regular-season games this season and Kyrie Irving’s 92% in 29 games likely would have helped Brooklyn’s team percentage should they have played more.
Irving was a perfect 9-for-9 at the line in a tightly called Game 1 and is 15-for-15 in the series. Durant went to the free-throw line 20 times (!) in Game 2, going 18-for-20 from the charity stripe, and is 24-for-27 in the series.
Should those two players enter Game 4 wanting to play hard and attack the paint, something they seemingly had no interest in during Game 3, Foster’s whistle could help the Nets get to the line.
It’s fair to note Foster has officiated the Celtics 124 times, which ranks second behind only the Dallas Mavericks (134 games).
Celtics-Nets is scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m. ET.