The NBA playoffs have arrived! Before we get to the series previews, we need to get through this play-in tournament. Here is the Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics betting preview.
The second Eastern play-in game will tip off at 9 PM EST on Tuesday night in Boston on TNT. The Celtics are -1.5 favorites, with an over/under set at 232.5 points.
Here’s what I’m thinking for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Below this blurb are all the ranks for each team that I will discuss. Use this as a resource. I’ve consolidated offensive and defensive ranks (equation at bottom of table), offensive and defensive preferences, and pace of play. I’ve also tacked on recent performance, key injuries, and betting trends.
The hope is that we find overlap between a team strength and another team weakness, or vice versa. This is nothing more than a guide. I’ll be making a few picks at the end, but I hope more than anything that this helps give you a look into how each team matches up.
Let’s get to it. Follow me on Twitter, @griffybets, for all things NBA this postseason. Drop me a line with any feedback or ideas for stats you’d like to see included!
|Washington Wizards||Boston Celtics|
|Offense rank: 16|
Threes rank: 26
Pts in paint: 5
Defense rank: 22
Perimeter D: 15
Opp. pts in paint: 18
|Offense rank: 12|
Threes rank: 9
Pts in paint: 19
Defense rank: 11
Perimeter D: 19
Opp. pts in paint: 5
|Injuries to keep an eye on||Injuries to keep an eye on|
|N/A||Jaylen Brown: Out|
Marcus Smart: DTD
Robert Williams: DTD
|Last 10 Games||Last 10 Games|
|ATS record||ATS record|
|O/U record||O/U record|
- Offensive/Defensive ranks calculated by averaging (points per game, EFG% and efficiency)
- Pace calculated by averaging (field goals attempted per game and possessions per game)
- Threes/Perimeter defense calculated by averaging (threes made per game and 3P%)
Shoutout to TeamRankings.com for the above stats. That site has everything you could ever ask for – this is just a taste of the numbers they consolidate for you. Consider perusing the site to dig into areas of the game you’re curious about.
Thoughts on the game
It’s hard to look at this matchup and not see two teams trending in wildly different directions. Washington has been on an absolute tear for a month, going 16-6 since April 7.
The Celtics finished their season on a 5-9 skid, losing one of their best players for the season, Jaylen Brown, in the process.
Momentum is real in this league and should not be slept on. On paper, the Celtics are built to slow down this Washington offense. The Wizards prefer to drive to the hoop, and stopping points in the paint is Boston’s defensive high-mark.
However, you can’t underestimate the loss of Brown, and the absences of Smart and Rob Williams. If the latter two can’t suit up, and they haven’t played in over a week, this Celtics team lacks the identity and chops that has gotten them to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four years.
Boston won this season series, 2-1, with the most recent win way back in February, 111-110.
Stat Leaders for Each Team
If you want to include some Wizards/Celtics in your DFS lineups or prop picks, the below players are where I’d recommend starting.
- Bradley Beal: 31.3 ppg
- Russell Westbrook: 45.4 PRApg
- Jayson Tatum: 26.4 ppg, 7.6 threes attempted per game
- Kemba Walker: 19.3 ppg, 8.2 threes attempted per game
There’s no clear offensive advantage for either side that would spark a prop pick from me. The Celtics best path to victory will be the deep ball, and both Tatum and Walker let them fly – so that’s where I’d start. Boston’s strength inside defensively has me shying away from taking Beal’s over, which is sure to be lofty.
I’ll stick with a pick against the spread in this one. It all goes back to momentum with this choice.
GriffyBets Pick: Washington +1.5
Stay tuned for more NBA betting previews throughout the week. We’ll be breaking down each play-in game here on KnupSports.com, and producing overall series previews as well.
The series previews will be all-encompassing. Logically, any advantage that would apply for one team should hold pat for the entire series.