The Boston Celtics welcome the Washington Wizards to TD Garden for a high-profile matchup on Tuesday evening. The game features lofty stakes in the NBA's new play-in format, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Playoffs to face the Brooklyn Nets in a best-of-seven series. The loser will face the winner of Tuesday's Hornets vs. Pacers game with the chance to secure the No. 8 seed. Jaylen Brown (wrist) is out for Boston on Tuesday, with Robert Williams (toe) officially listed as probable. Raul Neto (hamstring) is probable for Washington.
Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET in Boston. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Celtics as two-point home favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 232.5 in the latest Wizards vs. Celtics odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Wizards picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 99-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Wizards vs. Celtics spread: Celtics -2
- Wizards vs. Celtics over-under: 232.5 points
- Wizards vs. Celtics money line: Celtics -130, Wizards +110
- WAS: The Wizards are 9-2 against the spread in the last 11 games
- BOS: The Celtics are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Wizards can cover
Washington is playing some of its best basketball of the season, winning 16 of the last 23 games. The Wizards are No. 7 in the NBA in offense over that span, scoring more than 1.16 points per possession, and Russell Westbrook closed the season on a tear. Westbrook is averaging 23.7 points, 13.3 rebounds and 13.3 assists per game in his last 36 appearances, and he is a triple-double machine. Westbrook attacks the rim with reckless abandon, helping to lead the Wizards to the No. 1 mark in the NBA in free throw attempts at 26.2 per game. Washington is also above-average in both assists (25.5 per game) and field goal percentage (47.5 percent) for the season.
On the opposite end, the Wizards are a top-five team in limiting fast break points (10.7 per game), and the Celtics are just 25th in the NBA in assists (23.5 per game). Boston is also a bottom-tier team in both free throw creation on offense and free throw prevention on defense, playing into Washington's hands.
Why the Celtics can cover
Boston will not be at full strength on Tuesday, but the Celtics do have a legitimate star in Jayson Tatum. The multi-talented forward is averaging 26.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season, putting pressure on opposing defenses as a high-end shot maker and making a tangible impact defensively. Tatum is the best offensive player on a team that ranks in the top 10 of the NBA in overall efficiency.
Boston is also facing a Washington team that ranks below the league average in both offensive and defensive rating. The Wizards commit the most fouls in the NBA at 21.6 per game, and Washington is just 29th in free throws allowed, with opponents taking 25.4 attempts per game at the stripe.
How to make Celtics vs. Wizards picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 227 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Wizards vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.