Wizards vs Celtics – NBA Pick for March 14th

by Kevin Roberts
on March 14, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from 5Dimes at 9:37 am CT on 3/14/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

After a really rough stretch, my NBA picks have been spot on lately with a 5-1 record over my last six games. That’s pushed my season mark up to 57-46-2 and I’m inching closer to the strong percentage I was at over a week ago.

New Orleans stood out as a safe pick on a huge 11-game NBA betting slate, but the pickings are much slimmer tonight, with just four games on the schedule.

While this slate is small, it’s a pretty good one. Every single game opened with a point spread at -8.5 or better and three of the games are at -6.5 or lower. That could make picking a winner difficult, but this at least looks like a fun night of pro basketball action.

Of this four-pack of games, the one that stands out the most is a battle at the TD Garden between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics.

I also like the Lakers (+7) against a severely banged up Warriors team, but this Washington/Boston game is a little more appealing. Obviously betting against the Celtics in any fashion is difficult (46-21 overall, 23-12 at home), but my goodness is this team ripped to shreds right now.

The Celtics still have a lot to play for. The Atlantic Division is still up for grabs and the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference hasn’t been decided.

Unfortunately, the Celtics are just gutted at the moment with Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown all ruled out already.

It’s even worse potentially, with big man Al Horford (illness) also possibly missing this intense home tilt:

Yeah, it’s bad.

The Wizards are on the road and will still be down star point guard John Wall, but they make sense as the mild favorites here (-2 at 5Dimes) and could return decent value on this tiny slate.

Let’s take a closer look at this matchup to see if you can confide in the Wiz tonight:

Washington Wizards (-2)
Boston Celtics (+2)
Total: 205

I do want to note that the Celtics as home underdogs (+120 at BetOnline) is tough to ignore. I’m not taking the bait, though. I know Boston is undefeated (4-0) this year as home underdogs, but this is the straw that will break the camel’s back.

It has to. The Celtics are just so beat up and even though they do have nice depth with Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and possibly a healthy Al Horford stepping up, I can’t back them.

That leads me to the Wiz, who are viable bets to cover this small spread or be taken straight up (-130 at Topbet.eu). I love both bets, while the Over isn’t a bad play with a fairly low Total.

The idea there is that with so many dead bodies in Boston, that top-ranked Celtics defense won’t show up. Instead, this game could move a little faster than Boston is accustomed to and defensive resistance could go out the window.

That has me circling back to Washington. While I think this game has potential for more points, the lack of health makes the Total a likely trap.

Washington still has a legit star in Bradley Beal leading the charge and this team has done a fantastic job keeping their heads above water sans Wall. They are neck-and-neck with the Miami Heat (two game lead) right now and despite a shaky 4-6 stretch at the moment, they’ve looked pretty good overall.

Beal isn’t all by himself here. Otto Porter gives the Wiz a strong two-way presence, while Markieff Morris is a third perimeter threat defenses need to keep tabs on.

In addition, point guard Tomas Satoransky has really upped his game as the team’s starting lead guard and has been a big reason why they’ve remained a strong playoff contender.

From a matchup perspective, the Wizards are going to be the more cohesive and dynamic offensive group. Because Boston is relying largely on bench fodder, they also should see a harsh dip in defensive efficiency.

That’s potentially two big advantages for the visiting Wizards, who will hope to add to a solid 9-6 record when favored on the road (8-7 in that sense ATS).

Normally I would not be going against the Celtics. They’re surprisingly 5-2 with Irving sidelined this year, they’re stout at home and they wield the best defense in the NBA.

They’re beaten to a pulp right now, however, and the Wizards aren’t exactly chumps. The spread is tiny and the SU value is solid. I like both bets but since the spread offers the most value, I’ll go there.

Pick: Wizards at -2

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