Boston (25-8) won their fourth consecutive road game on Saturday in a 111-104 victory over the Bulls. Star point guard Kemba Walker has missed the last two games with the flu, he will be sidelined again on Monday. Jayson Tatum rebounded nicely after a poor shooting performance in a win over the Hawks on Friday by scorching the Bulls for 28 points on 12-of-15 from the floor. “That’s the good thing about this league, if you play good or play bad, you need to forget about the last one,” said Tatum, who went just 2-for-16 in the game against Atlanta. Boston has won eight of nine overall as they lead the Atlantic Division by 2.5 games over the Raptors ending play on Monday.
Washington (11-24) is ravaged by injuries and could be without several key starters on Monday, including guard Bradley Beal, who hasn’t played since New Year’s Day with right leg soreness. Beal is fifth in the NBA averaging 27.8 points per game. Veteran Ish Smith has filled the scoring void in Beal’s absence. Smith posted a career-high 32 points in Saturday’s 128-114 win over the Nuggets. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Wizards, who are 2-3 on their current six-game homestand with impressive victories over Miami and Denver.
ESPN’s FPI gives Boston a 74.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Monday’s matchup between the Celtics and Wizards.
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Celtics vs. Wizards Game Details
Date: Monday, January 6
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena (Washington, DC)
TV: NBCS Boston, NBCS Washington
Spread: Celtics -8.5
- SG Romelo Langford (illness) questionable
- PG Kemba Walker (illness) out
- C Robert Williams III (hip) out
- C Vincent Poirier (finger) out
- SF David Bertans (quad) out
- C Ian Mahinmi (finger) questionable
- SG Bradley Beal (leg) questionable
- PF Rui Hachimura (groin) out
- C Thomas Bryant (foot) out
- SF Moritz Wagner (ankle) out
- SG C.J. Miles (wrist) out
- PG John Wall (Achilles) out
- Celtics are 25-8 SU and 20-11-2 ATS this season
- Wizards are 11-24 SU and 17-17-1 ATS this season
- Under is 19-14 in Celtics games this season
- Over is 21-13-1 in Wizards games this season
Analysis & Pick
It’s been an incredibly volatile week for the Wizards, who have registered wins over two of the best teams in the league while also suffering another injury to a key starter. Bradley Beal did not play in Saturday’s impressive win over the Nuggets, but Ish Smith and Troy Brown Jr. picked up the scoring slack. Unfortunately, I don’t think those outputs are sustainable in the long term, and with Beal questionable again on Monday, this feels like a good spot to fade those performances. The Celtics are battling the flu bug, which will likely cost Kemba Walker another game. Boston has enough pieces to fill the void for Walker in the short term. Jayson Tatum stole the show in the win over the Bulls, I think he stays hot.
PICK: Jayson Tatum over 23.5 points (-118)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith