The Washington Wizards are very much alive in their Eastern Conference second-round series with the Boston Celtics. They might even be the right NBA pick for Game 5 Wednesday.
<p>I love it when a plan comes together. The Washington Wizards have all their players back now that Ian Mahinmi is in the lineup; the Boston Celtics were up against it in the first round against the Chicago Bulls until Rajon Rondo broke his thumb. Put those two together, and we figured <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/mahinmi-returns-wizards-still-alive-in-boston/79517">the Wiz would be the right choice</a> in Game 4 of their second-round series with Boston.<br /><br />So it was written, so it came to pass. Washington thumped the Celtics 121-102 as 5-point home faves, evening their series at 2-2 heading into Wednesday’s Game 5 (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT). With this series heading back to the Garden, Boston is a 4.5-point chalk on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/">NBA odds board</a> as we go to press; that’s up from -4 at the open, with our consensus reports showing two-thirds of early bettors on the C’s. Looks like that pesky Zigzag Theory might be at work again.<br /> </p><h2><strong>On The Rebound</strong></h2><p>Let’s get those baseline expectations in order first. FiveThirtyEight has Boston -3 as its Elo-based projection for Wednesday’s game, so yeah, the market wants to zig. I’m pretty sure we’re going to zag and stick with the Wizards for our <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/">NBA picks</a>. These projections won’t have fully accounted for Mahinmi’s return, even if his role has been limited since coming off the injured list.<br /> </p><blockquote><p><em>Ian Mahinmi told me he is still not 100% but feeling better everyday and happy about two days off before and after Game 4.</em></p><em>— Neil Dalal (@NeilDalal96) <a href="https://twitter.com/NeilDalal96/status/861429782298406912">May 8, 2017</a></em></blockquote><p style="text-align:left"><br />But let’s take a moment to look at the total, too. We’re looking at 215 points for Game 5, up a hair from 214 points in Sunday’s matchup – but also down from the first two games in Boston, both of which went 'over':<br /><br /><strong>Game 1:</strong> 216.5 points<br /><strong>Game 2:</strong> 219 points<br /><br />Welp, 215 points is still a pretty fat total, but this might not be the best time to go 'under'; the Wiz have been killing Boston on the glass now that they’ve got all their big men in action, and they haven’t wasted too many of those second-chance opportunities. Let’s stick with Washington against the spread, shall we?</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4435&book=Pinnacle" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://ms.sbrfeeds.com/redirect-proxy/redirect/?url=http://s3.amazonaws.com/images-production-753931602578/59132b906077d5008e374299/original-%5E1530C4D47242E7F4D4224939B7304DD64DC3FA349ECA1E1EFE%5Epimgpsh_fullsize_distr.jpg" style="height:380px;width:380px" /></a></h2>