NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals Betting Preview: #1 Boston Celtics vs #4 Washington Wizards

2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Semifinals
#1 Boston Celtics vs #4 Washington Wizards
Best of Seven Series Format: 2-2-1-1-1
Series Price: Celtics -185 / Wizards +160 (Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbooks

Game #1 – Sunday, April 30, 2017, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
Opening Line: Boston -4 1/2
Current Line: Boston -4 1/2
Opening Total: 214
Current Total: 215
Opening Money Line: Celtics -200 / Wizards +170
Current Money Line: Celtics -200 / Wizards +170

The Celtics and Wizards meet in game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Sunday in Boston.

Both the #1 seed Boston Celtics and #4 Washington Wizards won their opening round series in six games. There isn’t a lot of time for either team to rest as both series ended on Friday night. The winner will face either the #2 seed Cleveland Cavaliers or #3 Toronto Raptors in the conference finals.

Boston is coached by Brad Stevens. The Celtics won the Atlantic Division with a 53-29 record and are the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite losing the first two games at home, Boston beat the #8 seed Chicago Bulls in six games in the first round. The Celtics won game six 108-97 Friday night in Chicago to close out the series. The Celtics are 44-42-2 ATS and the total is 42-42-4 this season.

Washington is coached by Scott Brooks. The Wizards won the Southeast Division with a 49-33 record and are the #4 seed in the East. Washington beat the #5 seed Atlanta Hawks in six games in the first round. The Wizards won game six Friday 115-99 night in Atlanta to close out the series. The Wizards are 45-42-1 ATS and the total is 55-33 this season.

The two teams split the season series 2-2 with the home team winning every game. The Wizards won at home 118-93 November 9 and 123-108 January 24. The Celtics won at home 117-108 January 11 and 110-102 March 20. This is the third meeting in the playoffs between the Wizards and Celtics and first since 1984.

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Washington is outscoring teams 109-107 this season. The Wizards are #5 in scoring but #21 in points allowed in the NBA. Washington is shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.2% from 3 point range. The Wizards are in the top ten in both categories. Washington makes 78.4% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 46.6% from the field and 36.4% from 3 point range. Washington is #20 or worse in both categories. The Wizards average 42.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 43 per game. The Wizards average 23.9 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.5 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.

John Wall averages 23.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 2 blocks per game. Bradley Beal averages 23.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Markieff Morris averages 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Otto Porter, Jr. averages 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Bojan Bogdanovic averages 12.7 points and 3.1 assists per game.  Marcin Gortat averages 10.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Marcus Thornton, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Jason Smith, Ian Mahinmi. Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings will also get time in the rotation. Mahinmi is out indefinitely with a calf injury.

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Boston is outscoring teams 108-105 this season. The Celtics are #7 in scoring. Boston is shooting 45.4% from the field and 35.9% from 3 point range. Boston make 80.7% of their free throws and are #3 in that category. Opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Celtics are #2 in 3 point defense and #9 in field goal defense. Boston averages 42 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.5 per game. The Celtics are #25 or worse in both categories. Boston averages 24.4 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 8.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Isaiah Thomas averages 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The MVP candidate is still grieving after the loss of his sister in a car accident the day before the series started. He flew to Tacoma for the funeral on Saturday but will play in game one. Avery Bradley averages 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game.  Al Horford averages 14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Jae Crowder averages 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Marcus Smart averages 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Kelly Olynyk averages 9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, Terry Rozier, Jonas Jerebko, and Tyler Zeller will also get minutes in the rotation.

Washington is 5-2 ATS after scoring 100 points or more, 23-11-1 after a cover, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 2-5 against Atlantic teams and 7-19-1 on one day rest.

Boston is 4-0 ATS at home and against Eastern Conference teams, 4-1 after a straight up win, 5-2 on one day rest, 2-7 against teams with losing road records and 2-8 at home. The favorite is 7-2 ATS  in this series recently and the home team has covered the last four. The Celtics are 6-2 at home against the Wizards, including 5-0 at home.

Boston struggled against Chicago until Rajon Rondo went down with a thumb injury and did not play in the last four games of the series. Washington was pretty impressive against Atlanta. This should be a high scoring series. I think the Wizards pull off the upset in seven games, starting with a win in game one.

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