Meeting for the second time on the season, the Boston Celtics hold a 1-0 season series lead over the Washington Wizards heading into tonight’s matchup. The Wizards are missing key centerpiece John Wall for the year while the Celtics are down at least Aron Baynes and possibly Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis.
Since losing Wall, Washington has actually been playing some better basketball on the year. With Bradley Beal assuming the role of the top dog, the Wizards have been an incredibly fun team to watch due to their lack of defense. Bobby Portis has played some excellent basketball since coming over from Chicago and looks to have carved out a very nice 30 minute per game role in Washington. A high-energy and extremely athletic young big man, Portis has emerged as the team’s leading rebounder since his arrival and provides Beal with an effective partner in the pick and roll game.
The Celtics are in disarray after dropping four consecutive games following the All-Star break and desperately need a win here at home over a Wizards team that is out of the playoff hunt. Kyrie Irving struggled against the Raptors but has otherwise shown up and put up some excellent stat lines during the stretch. The problem recently for the Celtics has stemmed from the inconsistent play of the rotational players. The trio of Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown have been struggling mightily since the break. Since the return from the break, Tatum has been far less aggressive on the offensive end while Smart and Brown have simply not been as efficient as we are accustomed to seeing. In order to funciton properly, the Celtics need Tatum to operate as the clear #2 scoring option and for Brown and Smart to play hard defense while posting low-usage and efficient offensive numbers.
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics Betting Line & Over/Under
(Betting Line and Total courtesy of Oddsshark.com)
- Washington Wizards (25-36) vs Boston Celtics (37-25)
- Friday, March 1st at 8:00 pm ET
- Point Spread: Boston Celtics (-9)
- Point Total: 234
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics Betting Prediction
It is Friday night and we’re looking to have some fun and chase some overs.
Our other pick today is an even gaudier over, sitting at 237 as opposed to the 234 we have here. All that said, despite Boston’s recent string of low totals, this should be a very attainable number given the circumstances. Boston is coming back home after a brutal four-game losing streak and will need to put up a statement win over the middling Wizards in order to kickstart their climb back up the Eastern Conference standings.
The Wizards have played admirably in the absence of John Wall, but cannot stop a nosebleed on defense. Across their last 10 games the Wizards have only held one team, the lowly Cavaliers, to under 110 points. Despite not having Wall, the Wizards are still an extremely effective offensive unit and haven’t scored fewer than 110 points in a game since January. The Wizards lack of defense paired with an uptempo offense leads to a ton of overs. In fact, no Wizards game has gone under the point total since a January 30th matchup with the Pacers.
For all of their recent struggles, the Celtics are still one of the best teams in the NBA from a talent perspective. Although they can occasionally have a tough time consistently getting baskets when the game slows down, that shouldn’t be a factor against the Wizards tonight. Although Boston has failed to break 100 points in three of their four games since the All-Star break, two of those games came against juggernaut defensive units Milwaukee and Toronto. The Celtics are not as bad as their recent play would indicate and should be able to get the offense back on track at home against the Wizards.
The 9 point line is too large to lay with an inconsistent and struggling Boston team, so instead, we go to the over. Look for both teams to score in the 120 point range as the Celtics work their way back into the win column. Look for a monster showing from Kyrie Irving in particular who seems to be angry and locked in.