Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards Play-In Betting Preview

  • The Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards face off for the seventh seed.
  • The Celtics are mild favorites, with -135 odds to win the game.
  • Celtics star Jaylen Brown will miss the game, while Wizards star Bradley Beal is managing an injury.

LAS VEGAS - The Boston Celtics have had a tough go of it this season, struggling out of the gate, and it hasn’t gotten much better as the season has worn on.

Jaylen Brown, who truly came into his own as a star in the NBA this season, injured his wrist, and will be out for an extended period of time.

Brown, easily the second best player on the team behind Jayson Tatum, is an incredibly important asset to the Celtics.

In their NBA Play-In matchup against the Washington Wizards, his absence could be felt.

The Wizards, in a way, had the opposite arc from the Celtics - they were doubted from the beginning of the season.

Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook have taken the Wizards this far, however, and now they have a shot at a playoff spot if they take down the ailing Celtics.

The online sportsbooks see the matchup as extremely close, with the Celtics as very mild home favorites.

Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics

  • Washington Wizards +115
  • Boston Celtics -135

The -135 odds to win the game, at home, as the higher seed, is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Celtics as a team.

The Wizards are a very deserving underdog, but this matchup could be more about who isn’t playing (Brown) than who is.

The Celtics have underperformed this season, but they’d at least have an argument for being the more talented team with Brown on the court.

Luckily for Boston, Washington star Bradley Beal is managing an injury himself, and does not expect to be 100% before the play-in game.

"I didn't injure it any worse than what it was,” said Beal of his nagging hamstring injury. “Obviously it still probably won't be 100 percent. It is just a matter of managing it as best I can."

Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics

  • Washington Wizards +2.0 (-110)
  • Boston Celtics -2.0 (-110)

The spread for this matchup is remarkably close, and speaks to the degree to which the sportsbooks are uncertain about the quality of the Celtics.

The Wizards have been great against the spread this season, with a record of 41-30-1.

In addition, they’re 7-2-1 against the spread in their last ten games - it’s not just that they exceeded expectations early.

The Celtics, by contrast, are 33-38-1 against the spread for the season, and 4-6 against the spread in their last ten games.

Sports bettors should take a hard look at this game, and these numbers could provide some context for why the lines are so close.