Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards Pick
Boston Celtics (48 – 33 SU, 38-42-1 ATS) vs. Washington Wizards (32-49 SU, 38-43 ATS)
When: Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 7:00 PM ET
Where: Capital One Arena – Washington, DC
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BOS +5.5 / WAS -5.5 (MyBookie)
Power Rankings: Washington +3
Takeaways from Boston and Washington’s Most Recent Games
The Celtics were in action on Sunday at home against the Orlando Magic. Closing as a four-point favorite, Boston was upset as the Magic marched to a 116-108 win over the C’s.
The Wizards have dropped their last three matches. Most recently, the Wizards looked anything but magical on Sunday when they were upset by the team with the worst record in the NBA, the New York Knicks. Closing as a four-point underdog, the Wizards were upset in New York by the Knicks by a score of 113-110.
How the Public is Betting the Boston and Washington Game
No line movements in either Point Spread or Over/Under markets as of Tuesday morning.
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The Celtics are currently riding a two-game win and cover streak against the Wizards. The two teams last met in March in Beantown where the Celtics cruised to a 107-96 victory, covering as a 10-point favorite.
Boston will likely be playing this game without the services of Small Forward Jayson Tatum and Point Guard Marcus Smart as both are listed as questionable for this contest. The Celtics are keen to enter into the playoffs at full health and will not risk any of their key starters or personnel to injuries in a game that has no meaning to the C’s. On the Washington side, Power Forward Jabari Parker is listed as questionable for this contest. Parker has missed two games due to a knee injury. The Wizards are 0-2 ATS and SU in his absence. Bench asset Bobby Portis will get the start in Parker’s place should he be unavailable. Portis produced a double-double in Washington’s last game at New York on Sunday with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both teams will be playing this game on two days’ rest. For Washington, this is their season finale. As for Boston, the Celtics will be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference bracket as they will be locking with horns with the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Boston will get the first two games at home, the schedule is to be determined.
Will Defense Be The De-ciding Factor?
Washington’s defense has been a fatal flaw for the Wizards. Currently, the Wizards sit 29th in the league in scoring defense as they give up 116.9 points to the opposition. Moreover, the Wizards are also 28th in opponent field goal percentage (48%). On the flip-side of this, the Celtics are a menace defensively. Playing physical defense is Boston’s calling card. The Celtics are eighth in the NBA in scoring defense (107.9 points per game) and they sit fourth in the league in opponent field goal percentage (44.9%). Should the Celtics elect to roll up their sleeves in the match and make this a defensive game to their liking, Boston could stage what would be classed as an “upset”.
Can Washington’s Offense Get The Job Done In D.C. ?
There is one definitive edge that the Wizards can utilize to win and cover here: their offense. The Wizards’ offense remains a top-ten outfit in terms of scoring, as it produces 114.1 points per match (9th in the NBA). Given the fact that Boston will have some of its reserves in along with a likely lack of motivation to compete, the Wizards maybe able to generate some offense and get the job done. After all, the Wizards have broken the 110-point threshold in each of their three losses in their present streak. As we have highlighted, it’s just a matter of their defense making somewhat of a stand. Boston’s offense at full-strength stands just 14th in the league at 112.3 points per match. However, I don’t like the C’s prospects of even breaking the 110-point mark given how this game will be treated as nothing more than a formality for them.
In the last five meetings between both teams, the Celtics have gone 4-1 ATS. For Over/Under players, the Over has gone 6-1 ATS in the previous seven contests between both teams.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Washington -5.5
No, you don’t have to adjust your computer screen or wipe your eyes, the Wizards are indeed favored here and it is rightfully so. For Boston, the Celtics certainly have bigger fish to fry as they prepare for the Pacers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. As a result, we will be seeing a lot of reserves get some extra playing time in this game and the C’s will undoubtedly be treating this match as a tune-up. The same cannot be said for the Wizards. For Washington, this match-up is their curtain call before calling the 2018-19 season a wrap. The Wizards will look to close their campaign out on a positive note in front of their home faithful. For these reasons, I like Washington here and I am willing to lay the points. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the final tally was a rout in the Wizards’ favor.