We have betting picks and predictions for the two play-in tournament games on Tuesday.
The regular season is finished and now four Eastern Conference teams meet for a chance to progress. We have predictions for Hornets vs Pacers and Wizards vs Celtics.
NBA Betting Picks
Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Charlotte Hornets limped into the playoffs after losing five consecutive games in the regular season.
They suffered recent losses to the likes of Washington and New York, but now they must find something to get past Indiana.
The Pacers have some injury problems with Malcolm Brogdon, who is a game time decision. If he doesn’t suit up for the Pacers, that will be a big blow to their chances.
Indiana finished the season with a 34-38 record, but it could have been much better. They failed to close out many games in the fourth quarter and it ultimately put them in a do-or-die situation on Wednesday.
They faced each other three times throughout season and the Hornets took the 2-1 advantage. Indiana opened with a 116-106 victory on the road, but Charlotte bounced back with home and away wins.
With LaMelo Ball back from injury, it adds another dynamic to the Hornets offense. However, their recent form is a concern. We’re hoping they were resting for this situation, but a lack of scoring has been the bigger problem.
Take Terry Rozier out of the play and the Hornets are limited offensively. Ball isn’t a talented scorer and there is no secondary option, so the defence will need to stand up.
Indiana has Domantas Sabonis, who is an All-Star player and capable of putting the team on his back. If Brogdon doesn’t play, expect Sabonis to be the primary scorer.
Punters get a good price for Charlotte, which would firm depending on Brogdon’s availability. We believe there is value with the Hornets despite their recent form. They are good at sticking around, and given Indiana’s problems at closing out games, the Hornets could sting late.
Bet: Charlotte Hornets to win @ $2.22
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics @ TD Garden
Washington did an incredible job just making the play-in tournament after starting the season with a terrible record.
With Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook playing lights out, it has been enough for the Wizards to push for the eighth seed. They will now have two chances to make the first round of the playoffs, but beating Boston on Wednesday is their top priority.
The Celtics looked dreadful over the last month of the season, finishing with four losses from their last five games. They mustered only 92 points against the Knicks and losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers last week was an embarrassment.
We’re not sure what has gone wrong with the Boston Celtics this season, but expectations were much higher. Losing Jaylen Brown was a blow, but there were big problems before he got injured.
Coach Brad Stevens has some work to do for this game, as Beal and Westbrook are dominating. Stopping the duo has become a big problem, with Beal averaging 31.3 points per game and Westbrook averaging a triple-double.
It will require a big game from Jayson Tatum to keep the Celtics in the hunt and we’re surprised at the current odds. We priced Washington as the favourites, so punters should enjoy the $2.10 available.
Take the Wizards to win and progress to take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first round.
Bet: Washington Wizards to win @ $2.10
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.