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Wed 10/05/2017 - 01:24 EDT

Wednesday NBA betting: Can the Celtics hold serve at home vs. Wizards?

Wednesday NBA betting: Can the Celtics hold serve at home vs. Wizards?
The Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards square off in a pivotal Game 5 this Wednesday, with both teams having held serve on their home court. Will that trend continue in Boston? Using TopBet's lines, we seek to find out.

Can the Celtics finally win at home?

All betting line brought to you by Topbet

Boston Celtics (-4.5) vs. Washington Wizards (+4.5)

Welcome to the most upside-down second-round series in the NBA.

Everything has been topsy turvy in this one. The Boston Celtics have been outscored by 45 points in the first quarter, yet the best-of-seven set is all knotted up at two games apiece. The one first quarter the Celtics won, in Game 4, preceded a 121-102 loss. The Washington Wizards don't have a viable bench, and yet it's Boston's supporting cast that seems to be struggling the most. The games aren't competitive at the beginning, but they get competitive in the middle, only to fall off down the stretch; the average margin over victory for this series is 17 points.

Put simply, this back-and-forth is messed up—an insult to logic and betting trends or patterns. There has been almost nothing consistent about it, save for John Wall's dominance. And that's in part why it's so hard to feel confident in the Celtics. They can't seem to gain any traction.

Even in the games they've been able to win, the Celtics have trailed by double digits. In fact, the Wizards have held double-digit leads in every single one of these contests. They've by and large let Isaiah Thomas eat, in hopes that they can pester those around him into submission.

For the most part, it's worked. Al Horford has been efficient, because that's what he does, but when Kelly Olynyk and Terry Rozier are Boston's most valuable role players, as they were in Game 4, Washington has done something right.

Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley are struggling to knock down threes, and Marcus Smart, while a defensive superhero, can't figure out how to run a functioning pick-and-roll at the other end of the floor; he's turning the ball over a ton, needed to yank himself out of the fourth quarter in Game 1 and has paved the way for Rozier to step up.

All this in mind, what the Wizards are doing to the Celtics isn't sustainable. They don't have the depth to wage a full-on deconstruction. Boston is deeper, and that depth is going to pop at some point. Thomas will shoot more free throws in Game 5, because he didn't attempt a single one in Game 4. More of the Celtics' three-point bombs are going to start dropping at some point, and they won't get doubled up in transition again.

Yes, there is a level of brazenness to picking the Celtics right now, because there seems to be more red flags than not. But they held firm at home the first time around, even if they did fall into a hole early on. They are the better team in this series, and over the course of seven-game bundles, that will eventually matter.

We're betting it starts to matter now.

The Pick: Boston Celtics (-4.5)

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