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NBA – Wizards at Celtics Game 7 Money Line Odds and Pick

Washington Wizards(56-38) @ Boston Celtics(60-34)

  • Where: TD Garden. Boston, MA
  • When: May 15, 2017 8:00 pm EST
  • Spread: Washington (+4.5) at Boston (-4.5)
  • Moneyline: Washington (+165) at Boston (-190)
  • Over / Under: Over 210 (-115) vs Under 210 (-105)

In the making of almost every superstar, there is a cycle. The talented athlete cruises along in high school, college, and sometimes even his early-to-middle pro years with relaxed ease. At some point, a championship appears to loom on the horizon.

Then comes the rain cloud, often on the biggest stage imaginable. A young Tony Jacklin blazed to almost -10 in the first round of the 1970 British Open before hitting a badly-placed scoreboard in front of the 12th green – he would play the rest of the tournament over par. (Fast forward to 2016 and visualize Jordan Spieth on the 12th hole at Augusta.) Sometimes the wound comes by way of a great opponent – Joe Montana had the New York Giants to deal with, Wayne Gretzky the New York Islanders.

And who will hand Isaiah Thomas his first championship-level heartbreak? The blossoming Celtics star is already 28 years of age, but rose to national prominence in a 2016-17 season full of highlights. Game 6 in Washington, however, was not one of them.

On Friday night, John Wall of the Wizards hit a dramatic jump-shot from beyond the arc to steal a 92-91 Game 6 win from Thomas and the Celtics, who were ahead by five with about a minute to play. Thomas tried a desperate heave as the clock ran out, but was denied by the rim.

The last-second thrills set up a Game 7 scenario full of intrigue and trash-talk. Wall, who jumped on the scorer’s table after making the game-winner in D.C., lashed out at Gang Green for wearing all-black “funeral” themed street clothes to Verizon Center.

Betting could be just as contentious. Bovada Sportsbook and Bet Online each offer a point-spread of (-4.5) for the hosting Celtics in Game 7, but pundits are calling the rubber match a toss-up, and Washington has out-shot and out-rebounded Boston at crucial points in the series.

Is a money line wager on Washington the right play? Let’s discuss.

Garden Party

Boston has been considered a shoo-in to reach the Eastern Conference Finals throughout most of a hot-as-Haiti regular season. That means pressure is on Thomas to perform or risk being labeled a playoff choker.

The Celtics’ best player performed poorly by his standards in Game 6, going 8-of-24 from the field and turning the ball over five times, including key give-aways in the second half. Analysts are touting Al Horford, the squad’s agile 6’10” center, as a cager who can produce key buckets even if Thomas is cold from the field.

But do the Wizards have a fall-back if Wall hits a wall? The 26 year-old point guard began 1-for-12 from the field on Friday night, though he eventually scored 26 points including the three that won it for D.C. However, he obviously can’t make a series-win happen by himself.

Bradley Beal is another rising talent that Washington fans hope stays hot in Game 7. The 23 year-old shooting guard was the Wizards’ leading scorer in Game 6, going almost 58% from the field in a 33-point performance. Beal also added five assists.

Avoid the point spread

MSB has recommended keeping an eye on the point spreads in the Warriors-Spurs series, which may carry value since the lines are peeking into the double-digits for games that could be closer than anticipated.

But with the spread for Game 7 at TD Garden set at a paltry (+/- 4.5), gamblers should stay away. Too many things can happen in the last seconds of an NBA game to blow an otherwise solid bet, such as a front-runner ahead by five or six points fouling to prevent three-point shot opportunities with :10 or :15 to go.

Instead, look for value in a money line which has the Celtics entrenched as favorites in an extremely evenly-matched showdown.

Wash-ing away the hype

Visit Bet Online and wager 1 or 2 units on the Washington Wizards (+165) to prevail and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Remember, betting is never simply about who we think will win. It’s about comparing each side’s chances with the odds…a coin-flip prediction means that a plus-ML is the play.

Analyst Matt Moore of CBS Sports is touting Boston as a clear favorite, claiming that they will simply shoot better than the visitors. But the Washington Wizards are, overall, a slightly better team from the field. They have overcome frigid stretches from their go-to-shooter and proven that their depth is underrated.

The other objection is that only home teams have won in the series. But several of the six games have been closer than the scoreboard indicated (another reason to avoid betting ATS), and hyping the Celtics as more psychologically ready simply due to the home venue is shallow.

Washington has the momentum, and the franchise has taken personal offense to Boston’s chesty wardrobe choice and over-confidence on the road. Isaiah Thomas is dazzling, but both sides will play their tails off in this one regardless of the venue.

Buck the lazy consensus and pick the confident, angry, versatile visitors from the nation’s capital.

 

 

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.


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