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Celtics vs. Wizards NBA Over-Under Odds & Pick from Will Rogers: May 15th 2017

Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards
Over-Under Pick: Over 209.5 points (May 15th 2017)
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The set-up: Two of the four second round series ended in four-game sweeps (Cavs and Warriors) while the Spurs took out the Rockets in six games, but this Washington/Boston series will need all seven games to be decided. That should come as no surprise as the home team won all four matchups during the regular season and through six games of this playoff series, has come out on top each time. The first five games saw the home team also cover but then in Game 6, the Wizards eked out a 92-91 win over the Celtics. Boston squandered a five-point lead in the final minute of Game 6, saw John Wall nail a three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left on the clock to give Washington the lead and then got victimized by some fuzzy clock management in the final seconds of the contest. After Wall’s three-pointer, Kelly Oubre Jr. used Washington’s foul to give with 2.7 seconds remaining, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report,but Boston only got 1.7 seconds left on its final chance as Isaiah Thomas heaved up a three-point attempt that missed the mark. On to Game 7.

Washington: Wall is averaging 26.3 points and 10.2 assists in the series and combines with Bradley Beal to form a backcourt that is not afraid to take the big shots. Beal scored a series-best 33 points in Friday’s win but is still trying to find his shot from long range while shooting 26.3 percent from beyond the arc in the series. Washington’s frontcourt continues to give uneven efforts. Gortat has rebounded well all series (11.7 per) but in the last three games, has scored a total of just 17 points. SF Otto Porter Jr. averaged 15.8 points on 60 percent shooting in the first five games of the series but went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in Game 6. PF Morris was a “no-show” in Games 1 and 5 (both Boston home wins) but in Washington’s three home games (all wins), he’s averaged 14.0 & 8.7. Sixth man Bogdanovich has shot erratically, scoring 32 points in Games 3 and 4 (on 11 of 19 shooting) but averaging just 5.0 PPG in the other four games on 6 of 20 shooting.

Boston: Isaiah Thomas is not complaining about Monday’s situation. “To have Game 7 back in Boston in the Garden,” Thomas told reporters after the game 6 loss. “If you had said that back in October, that there’d be a Game 7 in the second round, a lot of people probably wouldn’t even believe that. So we’re excited. I mean, it hurts right now because we just lost. We have nothing to hold our heads down about, we’re going to take a few days to figure out our adjustments and win Game 7.”Thomas had 33 points in Game 1 and then exploded for 53 points in Game 2. However, he is averaging just 19.3 points on 39 percent shooting in the four games since. Then again, Thomas is getting plenty of help the last two games from SG Avery Bradley, who followed up a playoff career-high 29 points in Game 5 with 27 in Game 6 and is 22-of-37 from the floor in that span. Center Al Horford was in line to be the “hero” in Game 6 (his ‘bank’ shot gave Boston a two-point lead with 10 seconds left) but Wall’s three-point shot ruined that scenario. Still, Horford has been very good for Boston this postseason, averaging 16.2-7.6-5.8 while shooting 64.2% from the floor.

The pick: It’s another Game 7 at the legendary Boston Garden (now the TD Garden) and the Celtics sure have history behind them (Celtics are 18-3 all-time at home in Game 7s). However, all those banners in the rafters won’t help this team, which has no connection to the past. Washington’s history doesn’t bode well, as the Wizards will be trying to reach the conference finals for the first time since 1979. Forget ancient history (and for a minute about the Game 7 winner). Looking at this series until Game 6, the first five games had averaged 226.8 PPG. Boston has averaged 110.0 PPG at home this year (regular and postseason), while Washington has averaged 107.9 PPG on the road, while also allowing 110.2 PPG. Play the Over.

Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks NBA Betting Pick from Larry Ness: April 22nd 2017

Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks
NBA Betting Pick: Atlanta -2.5 (April 22nd 2017)
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The Atlanta Hawks haven’t found a way to stop Washington PG John Wall, who has scored 32 points in each of the first two games of this series, while also averaging 11.5 assists. Wall’s backcourt partner Beal has averaged 26.5 PPG in Washington’s two wins. The Wizards own a strong starting-five, all of whom averaged double digits during the regular season. Only Otto Porter (13.4 and 6.4) has not done that so far in this series, averaging a modest 7.0 PPG, while adding 7.0 RPG. Fellow forward Morris chips in 12.0 & 5.0 and center Gotat has sure stood up to Dwight Howard, averaging 14.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG.

Atlanta’s All Star forward Paul Millsap compared the series to an “MMA” match after a physical Game 1 but was more prepared for the physicality while delivering 27 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort in Game 2. The hawks had chances in both games, so they are hardly giving up. “We had a chance in both games,” head coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters. “We gave ourselves a chance on the road in the playoffs. Nobody likes the result. Nobody feels any better but the fact that you are there and you have an opportunity, you have to keep building on it. … Now we have to go home and do the same.”

The Hawks will need to find a way to Wall, whose slashes into the paint have allowed him to take 21 FTs in the first two games (he’s made 18). Also, it will be interesting to see how Budenholzer uses Dwight Howard (6.5 PPG and 10.5 RPG in the series). He chose to leave him on the bench for the entire fourth quarter in Game 2, going instead with Mike Muscala, who he believed had a better chance of stretching the floor. That said, Budenholzer might want to take note that Marcin Gortat matched a season high with five blocks in Game 2 and has posted a double-double in each of the first two games.

The Hawks had a mediocre home record this season (23-18 SU and 17-24 ATS) but the Wizards have been vulnerable defensively all season away from home, allowing 109.3 PPG. Atlanta PG Dennis Schroder has been overshadowed by Wall in this series so far but note that he’s averaged 24 points and 7.5 assists in the first two games. Also, I have an inkling Dwight Howard just may assert himself in this one. I’ll back the Hawks.

Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards NBA Pick from Larry Ness: April 4th 2017

Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards
NBA Pick: Washington -3.5 points (April 4th 2017)
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The 46-31 Washington Wizards were one of the hottest teams in the NBA from Christmas through the middle of March but these last two-plus weeks, have lost their mojo. A current three-game slide leaves them one game back of the Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the East and Washington can ill-afford a home loss tonight against the visiting 36-41 Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets come in on a three-game winning streak, leaving Charlotte in 10th place in the East but only one game behind eighth-place Miami and two in back of seventh-place Chicago.

These two Southeast Division foes meet for the fourth and final time during the regular season in Washington, as the Wizards return home following a five-game road trip. They opened  the trip with wins over Cleveland and the LA Lakers but ended by dropping three in a row, all against Western Conference contenders.Washington’s 5-7 record since March 13 and Toronto’s recent surge, has dropped them to fourth in the East (just one game back of the Raptors) but out of any realistic hopes at the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.

The Hornets have averaged 115.0 points in in their three-game winning streak and have scored at least 105 points in each of their last eight contests. All Star PG Kemba Walker is leading the way while averaging 27.2 points and 5.4 assists in the last five contests, just as he has all season (23.1-5.5 APG). The Hornets survived Russell Westbrook’s 40th triple-double on the season in winning 113-101 at OKC on Sunday, as Kemba Walker scored 29 points and Charlotte received 44 points from its reserves.

The Wizards have to play three of their final five on the road, so a win here is a must for Washington’s chances at passing Toronto into third in the East. Washington is 29-10 SU at home, while Charlotte is only 14-24 SU on the road. With these teams trending in opposite directions (Washington down and Charlotte up), we get a very favorable pointspread for the home team. That’s the bet.