Injuries Factor Make Celtics -1.5 Our Free NBA Pick vs. Celtics

Jason Lake

Saturday, January 16, 2016 1:41 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 1:41 PM UTC

The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards both smashed the NBA odds Friday night. They'll meet this Saturday, but which players will be available for the Wizards?

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NBA Pick: Celtics -1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 15: 13-15-1 ATS, 4-1 Total


Things have not gone quite according to plan for the Washington Wizards (19-19 SU, 21-17 ATS) this year. But the Wizards have Bradley Beal back in the lineup, they've won four games in a row, and they did a number on the Indiana Pacers Friday night, crushing them 118-104 as 7-point road dogs. Life could be worse.

The Boston Celtics (21-19 SU, 21-18-1 ATS) are in pretty much the same position going into the second half of the regular season – except they're on a bit of a downswing at 3-6 SU and ATS in their last nine games. However, the C's did get their groove on Friday against the Phoenix Suns, as most teams do, winning 117-103 as 9-point home faves. They'll visit Washington on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET) with the NBA odds on hold as we go to press.


Beal's the Bub
Injuries have been a killer for the Wiz. They have four players on the shelf, including center Marcin Gortat (17.3 PER, –0.1 BPM) and SF Otto Porter Jr. (14.8 PER, +1.7 BPM). But there's something about Beal (14.5 PER, –1.4 BPM) that makes him extra-special to Washington's success, and that something is his 3-point shooting. In his second game back from a month-long injury layoff, Beal (39.2 percent from long range) came off the bench and dropped 22 points on Indiana in 22 minutes, hitting four of his seven trey attempts. Very nice.

Now it's a question of who else will be available on Saturday. Gortat has missed three games after going to hospital with an infected knee; he might be available to face Boston. Porter missed Friday's game after landing on his hip during Wednesday's 106-101 win over the Milwaukee Bucks (+5.5 away). He could be on the floor Saturday, too. You can add SG Garrett Temple (11.1 PER, –0.7 BPM) to the “maybe” list after he sprained his right shoulder against Indiana and sat out the fourth quarter.


He Went to Jared
The Celtics are healthy and hale by comparison – so why the slump? Coach Brad Stevens has been tinkering with his lineup, as usual, and he gave center Kelly Olynyk (15.7 PER, +1.8 BPM) another crack at the starting rotation. For whatever reason, it didn't work out: Boston went 1-4 SU and ATS. So Jared Sullinger (16.1 PER, +1.3 BPM) was put back in on Wednesday, and now the C's have won back-to-back games SU and ATS. Problem solved?

Perhaps. In the meantime, we've got our NBA pick to make, but no odds to do it with. Those missing Wizards are important enough that we highly recommend waiting for Saturday's shootaround to see who's active. Basketball-Reference values Boston about 4.5 points higher on the Simple Rating System, so if the Wiz are laying any points in this matchup and they're not at close to full capacity, a bet on the C's seems prudent.

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