NBA playoffs betting (May 11): Wizards need to conjure Game 5 road win

Updated: May 10, 2017

The Washington Wizards are the only team left in the NBA playoffs with a losing road record, and they’ll need to improve that mark if they are to progress past the Boston Celtics into the Eastern Conference final; playoff record: 17-0-16, +3.93 units, overall record: 259-7-219, +48.17 units


Eastern Conference semifinals, game 5: Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics (series tied 2-2)
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
When: Thursday, May 11, 10am (AET)
Line: Boston -4.5, O/U 215.5

Confirmed bet: Washington +4.5 (one unit @ $1.93)

TIW says: The momentum has clearly shifted in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and the Washington Wizards now look like the team to beat after a pair of convincing home wins evened the series. The fourth-seeded Wizards still need to earn a win on the road to have a chance of taking the series and will try to keep the thrust in their favour when they visit the top-seeded Boston Celtics for Game 5 tonight. Washington took Games 3 and 4 by a combined 46 points and used a 26-0 run in the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 to go from trailing to blowing out Boston for the second straight game.

Power forward Markieff Morris overcame an ankle injury and collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in Sunday’s 121-102 win and is not lacking confidence in his team. The Wizards go where point guard John Wall (pictured below) takes them, and the All-Star is averaging 27.8 points, 12.3 assists and 2.8 steals in the series. Washington starters are plus-148 in the series, dominating the action when their first five are on the floor and struggling whenever even one of them sits.


The Celtics made plenty of silly mistakes and watched Washington convert 20 turnovers in 34 points in Sunday’s romp. Boston All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in Game 2’s overtime win but found points harder to come by in Washington while averaging 16 points in Games 3 and 4. Thomas suggested after Game 4 that he wasn’t getting the benefit of foul calls while going without a free-throw attempt in the loss. Making matters worse, the Celtics are clearly operating with starting guard Avery Bradley’s hip pointer issues contributing to their past two losses.

After scored just seven points on 3-for-8 shooting in Game 3, Bradley shot 2-for-9 on Sunday and had nearly as many turnovers (4) as he did points (5). The numbers aren’t great for the Wizards in this spot – they are 0-5 ATS in their past five road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than .600 while the home team is 8-0 ATS in the past eight meetings overall. The market is zigging in favour of the Celtics but we’re going to zag on the Wizards to snatch a rare road win.


Tuesday’s result: 0-0-1, -1.0 units

Golden State Warriors -8.5 @ Utah Jazz & -206.5/total (one unit @ $3.60) LOSE (121-95)



• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnacle (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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