The Boston Celtics could be missing three players for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks – but they can still beat the NBA odds.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics
Wednesday, March 31, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at TD Garden
Few things have gone right for the Boston Celtics (23-24 SU, 22-25 ATS) this year. Fortunately for the C’s, they play in the Eastern Conference, where they sit in seventh place as we go to press – and they only have to finish in the Top 10 to make the playoffs. But it would certainly help Boston’s cause if they can put a full team on the court. It doesn’t look like that will be the case for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks (24-21 SU, 21-24 ATS), and the odds on most betting sites are on hold while we wait to see who’s healthy.
Not everyone is waiting, though. The Celtics have opened as 1-point home dogs at some of the overseas markets, and if that’s the case, Boston may have a place in our NBA picks after all. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and see what the heck is going on in Beantown right now.
So Hip It Hurts
The biggest question mark for the C’s is Jaylen Brown (plus-2.6 BPM), who missed Monday’s 115-109 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans (+3 away) with a sore left hip. Brown is officially listed as questionable for this matchup. If he sits, he’ll join Semi Ojeleye (minus-2.5 BPM) and Tristan Thompson (minus-2.3 BPM) on the sidelines – Ojeleye with his own hip injury, and Thompson on the COVID-19 list.
Maybe it’s just as well when it comes to Ojeleye and Thompson, though. They haven’t been as impactful as Boston hoped, especially Thompson, but that has allowed Robert Williams (plus-6.3 BPM) to step up and perform at an All-Star level. Also, there was another big man whom the C’s acquired at the deadline: Luke Kornet (plus-3.0 BPM in 120 minutes), who was a late addition to the three-team trade that sent Daniel Theis to the Chicago Bulls and brought Mortiz Wagner (minus-0.9 BPM) over from the Washington Wizards.
The Mavericks made one small move at the deadline: J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli came over from the Pelicans in exchange for Wesley Iwundu and our main man James Johnson, a deal that will add two 3-point bombers to the roster while compromising the Mavs defense. Except Redick (minus-3.0 BPM) has missed the past 11 games with a sore right heel, and won’t play Wednesday. Also, Melli (minus-4.4 BPM) has been a hot mess this year. Maybe the change of scenery will help.
Anyway, add up all these moving parts, and the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight project Boston to win this game by 2.5 points – but do they include Brown in their calculations? If not, the C’s are still worth a slight lean if the official NBA lines come out Boston +1, but as we said, we’d be much happier to see Brown out there. Size your bets accordingly when that information comes in, and may the sphere be with you.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.