Larry Ness betting the Washington Wizards +3 points over the Boston Celtics on March 20th 2017

| March 20, 2017

Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics
NBA Betting Prediction: Washington +3 (March 20th 2017)

The 42-27 Washington Wizards will play at TD Garden tonight against the 44-26 Boston Celtics. The Celtics enter this contest 1 1/2 games up on the Wizards for the No. 2 seed in the East and know a win means a 2 1/2 game lead and a loss means it’s down to a half-game lead, as both teams chase the top-seeded Cavs. The teams have engaged in some heated matchups this season, with the home team winning each of the first three.

The Celtics blew a 13-point lead Sunday in Philly, falling 105-99 to the 76ers. Boston was playing its second straight game without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas (29.2-6.0 APG), who is hoping his knee is good enough for him to return for this one. The Celtics were on the brink of tying an NBA record when they visited Brooklyn on Friday night, as they had 26 straight games with at least 10 three-pointers, one shy of the mark set by the Houston Rockets earlier this season. However, without Thomas, they were 7 of 29 Friday to end the streak Boston was then 6 of 29 from behind the arc on Sunday, for a combined 13 of 58 in the past two games (22.4%) playing without Thomas.

Washington had gone 25-6 from Jan 3 through Mar 11 but enter this game having lost three of four. PG John Wall has had two straight poor outings (9 of 29 shooting), since suffering a foot injury Wednesday against Dallas. Markieff Morris (14.1-6.7), who had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the previous meeting with Boston, has missed the last two games due to illness and is day-to-day. The Wizards’ entire starting-five averages in double digits and the team’s trade deadline pickup of Bogdanivic (15.4 PPG in 14 games with Washington) has been huge.

The Celtics have been able to use their preferred starting-five just 28 times this season, going 21-7 (.750) but with a variation of that lineup they are a more modest 23-19 (.545). No guarantee Thomas plays tonight and I’ll take the Wizards.

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