They got their butts handed to them in Game 5, but that should only make the Washington Wizards a better NBA pick for Game 6 of their matchup with the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Yup, it was a good thing we didn’t take the 'under' for Wednesday’s Game 5 between the Washington Wizards and the Boston Celtics. The C’s went on a heater, sinking 16 of their 33 trey attempts (48.5 percent) in a 123-101 victory, cashing in as 4-point home faves on the NBA odds board. What’s that? We had Washington? Ai ya.
That’s the way the 3-pointer crumbles. These are high-variance shots, and on this night the Celtics were hitting theirs and Washington (7-for-29, 24.1 percent) wasn’t. People don’t want to hear anything that simple, though. The betting market will probably over-react to Wednesday’s result and make the Wizards even better NBA picks for Game 6 on Friday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Or not. Washington opened as a 4.5-point home chalk and moved quickly to -5.5, which implies early and sharp action on the Wiz. But the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight have an Elo-based spread of Washington -2.5 for Friday’s contest. It was the same situation back in Game 3; the Wizards took that down 116-89, in Ian Mahinmi’s first game back off the injured list.
They didn’t need a lot of 3-point luck, either. The Wizards were 8-for-25 (32 percent) from behind the arc, and the Celtics were 10-for-32 (31.3 percent). You know, if I were a stats guy, I would run some kind of regression analysis or whatever the hell it is they do, and see who’s winning and covering when the teams hit close to their average from downtown.
Avery Bradley— Celtics Junkies (@CelticsJunkies) May 11, 2017
3 assists pic.twitter.com/AsM9GYKdNr
But I digress. We’ve got a dilemma here at the home office: Do we go with the advanced stats or have we identified enough anomalies in this matchup and the betting market to stick with the Wiz? I vote for neither. Let’s go 'under' 216.5 instead. The 'over' may be 4-1 in this series, but, really, is Avery Bradley going to score 25 points in the first half again? That’s unpossible.