NBA Betting May 18, 2021 – Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

A popular pick to win the Eastern Conference at the start of the season, the Boston Celtics limped to the finish line and will be one of four teams competing in the play-in tournament. Boston has home court advantage when it takes on the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, but the Wiz have Russell Westbrook and a ton of momentum heading into this contest. Winners in 17 of their last 23 games, the Wizards emerged from the depths of the East to claim the No. 8 seed, though they are a 2-point dog on the opening NBA betting line.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
Date and Time: Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 9 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Opening NBA Odds: Celtics -2, O/U 234.5
Wizards at Celtics TV Coverage: TNT

Odds Analysis

The play-in tournament added plenty of excitement to the end of the NBA regular season, though the Celtics probably aren’t a big fan. Boston finished as the No. 7 seed and would have been in the playoffs under the old format. Now they have to win once to make it into the field. And it won’t be easy since they struggled down the stretch losing five of their final six games while going 2-4 ATS. If the season was a few games longer the Celtics might not have qualified for the play-in tournament. Washington has to feel good about its chances of claiming the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. A win over the Celtics will do that. The Wizards were left for dead at the start of April when a loss to Toronto had them at 17-32. They won 17 of their final 23 games going 17-5-1 ATS. Five of their six setbacks over that closing stretch came on the road and the Wiz finished 15-21 SU and 22-13-1 ATS in away games during the regular season.

Washington Wizards

With an explosive backcourt of Westbrook and Bradley Beal, the Wizards will be a handful for any team. And they showed just how good they can be by finishing the season with a flurry. Westbrook was a triple-double machine registering one in 20 of his last 24 games and finishing the season with 38. For the fourth time in five seasons he averaged a triple-double with a league-best 11.7 assists, 22.2 points and 11.5 rebounds. When he wasn’t scoring the basketball himself he was dishing to Beal, who finished second in the NBA at 31.3 points per game.

Beal returned to the lineup in the regular season finale to score 25 points in a win over Charlotte. He missed three games before that with a sore hamstring and still isn’t 100 percent. “There’s no setbacks, which is good. I didn’t injure it any worse than what it was. It’s just a matter of managing it as best I can,” Beal said of his injury. The Wizards were one of the most profitable teams in the NBA going 41-30-1 ATS and appear to be a good bet against the struggling Celtics.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics will take a new approach as they attempt to reach the Eastern Conference final for the fourth time in five seasons. To say this campaign was different is an understatement. They ended at 36-36 never hitting the stride that many felt they would at some point during the year. When it seemed like they were about to the Celtics would go into a funk keeping them from building any momentum. Now, they’ll need a win in two potential play-in games just to make the field. And they’ll have to do it without one of their top players after Jaylen Brown was lost for the season to wrist injury. Brown was a key piece of a middling offense averaging 24.7 points on 48.4 percent shooting from the field.

That’s a big loss for a team that averaged 112.6 points and shot 46.6 percent from the field during the regular season. More of the scoring load will fall on Jayson Tatum, who led the team with 26.4 points per game. And Tatum is dealing with an ankle issue, though it won’t keep him out of this game. The Celtics took two of three games during the season with both victories coming at home. Tatum averaged 31.5 points in those games and scored just six points in the loss.

Bet Wizards at Celtics at BookMaker.eu

I’ll admit I was one who thought the Celtics would turn things around during the season. Boy was I wrong. Boston had a tough time down the stretch and for most of the season and I don’t see things changing in a hurry, especially with Brown on the shelf.

NBA Score Prediction: Wizards 113, Celtics 107

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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