The 54-26 Boston Celtics and 42-38 Washington Wizards are rival Eastern Conference teams that faced each other in a tense seven-game series just a year ago. The Celtics won the series and they are having a much better season in 2017-18.
An injury-plagued Boston squad will attempt to get a road win against a slumping Washington today (8 p.m. ET Tuesday on TNT).
The Celtics’ health luck has been unfortunate this season. Gordon Hayward suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the year. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin have all missed a lot of time. Boston has limped to the finish line a bit because of those injuries.
Washington has gotten John Wall back, but the team’s chemistry is all off right now. The Wizards have lost four in a row and eight of their last 10 games to fall to eighth in the Eastern Conference. Two wins in their final pair of games would give them a chance to move up.
Let’s first talk about some big influential factors in this game. After that, this preview will give our Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards Predictions for the spread and whether the over or the under is a better option from an online betting perspective.
Will Wizards’ Long Layoff Be Source of Rejuvenation?
In the NBA, it’s very rare to get three days off between games. Most of the time, there is one off day and then another game.
However, Washington is coming off three consecutive off days after an embarrassing home loss to the tanking Atlanta Hawks. The extra rest couldn’t come at a better time for the Wizards. Washington looks out of sorts right now; players don’t look happy to be playing with each other and the energy level is low.
Theoretically, the time off is helpful for the Wizards. However, if they didn’t use the time to refresh their minds and connect more as a team, we could see more of the same poor basketball from Washington.
Can Celtics Prioritize Three-Pointers More?
The Celtics are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league. They are eighth in made threes per game (11.5) and second in percentage (37.8).
Recently, though, Boston has hit a bit of a dry spell. The Celtics have hit an average of just eight three-pointers in their last five games on a 33.6 percentage. The percentage isn’t terrible, but the number of makes is considerably down from the season average and certainly hurts the offensive production.
Boston is without Kyrie Irving, who is the team’s best three-point shooter. That said, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier are all capable of dialling in plenty of outside shots. Coach Brad Stevens needs to prioritize these shots a bit more in his offensive game plan for this contest so the Celtics have more space to work with on offense.
Can Kelly Oubre Get His Mojo Back?
Both of these teams, in their current states, have below-average benches. The Celtics have a good bench with their full roster, but they don’t have that available to them right now. The Wizards are just not a deep team.
Kelly Oubre is the Wizards’ most explosive scorer off the bench, and he can sometimes look like a borderline star when he is at his best. His shooting has been abysmal for more than two months now, though. Since the start of February, he has shot just 34.5 percent from the field and 25.7 percent from three-point range.
It is a lot to ask for him to reverse a longstanding trend so suddenly, but Oubre has an opportunity to shine against a Celtics bench without much athleticism on the wing.
Our Preview’s Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Betting Picks & Predictions
It is likely that Washington wins this game after the team’s three-game layoff against a depleted Celtics squad, but home-court advantage has had almost no impact on both of these teams this season. The Wizards should be a very slim favorite in this game, and nothing more.
These are the Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards predictions and this preview’s picks for this NBA game:
- Washington is being favored by 6.5 points in this game by all outlets, which is a bit too big of a margin to be comfortable with. You can find your best odds of Celtics +6.5 @ -110 with Bovada, Intertops, 5Dimes or Bookmaker.
- Boston is clearly a defensive-minded team without Kyrie Irving, and Washington is still working out its offense with John Wall back. The Wizards’ defense will be more energized, though, because of the three days off. The best option is to bet the under 206pts @ -110 with Bovada and 5Dimes.