Celtics Set to Zap Wizards in TNT Opener Thursday

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, February 8, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 12:55 PM UTC

The Celtics travel to Washington after getting trounced by the Raptors. But the Wizards were also taking a beating Tuesday in a blowout to the Sixers. Let's check out the NBA odds and back the right side in this Thursday night TNT clash.

Boston (39-16 SU, 32-20-3 ATS) at Washington (31-23 SU, 25-29 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +2Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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  • Washington is 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a ATS loss.
  • Washington is 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5.
  • Washington is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
  • Boston is 5-0 ATS in their last five after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
  • Boston is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Boston is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.

These Eastern Conference foes enter this game with remarkably similar streaks. The Celtics have reeled off five wins over their last seven games and covered the number in six of those. The Wizards have won and covered in five of their last six games. And, coincidentally, both teams were defeated as 5½-point underdogs Tuesday when the Celtics were throttled 111-91 by the Raptors, while the Wizards were easily handled 115-102 by the 76ers.

Thus, it's not surprising that the NBA odds are favoring Washington ever so slightly Thursday due solely to its home-court advantage. However, it should be noted that Boston has gone 11-5 against the spread vs. Washington over the last three seasons and will be looking for redemption after dropping a 111-103 decision to the visiting Wizards on Christmas Day. Kyrie Irving was eased back into the lineup in Tuesday night's loss and scored 17 points in 22 minutes after missing the previous three games with a quad injury.

Irving should be well-rested and ready to go against a Washington backcourt that will be without the oft-injured but supremely talented John Wall. The former No. 1 overall pick in the draft will be sidelined 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Although the Wizards own a more potent offense, currently ranked 9th in the league averaging 107.4 points per game, the Celtics' defense is among the most suffocating, ranked 2nd and surrendering just 98.7 PPG.

The Shamrocks have proven that they win more often than not when they face the Wizards, and the numbers above are clearly leaning in favor of Boston. Let's allow the numbers to guide us and back the Celtics in our NBA picks on Thursday night.

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