Celtics

NBA picks: Celtics vs. Wizards betting predictions, plays against the spread

NBA picks: Celtics vs. Wizards betting predictions, plays against the spread

It pays to back the Boston Celtics, folks.

The Celtics sped to their NBA-leading eighth win Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks -- and made those who took our advice very happy, as our moneyline, point spread and point total predictions all hit.

Wednesday will be an emotional night at TD Garden with Isaiah Thomas returning as the Washington Wizards' starting point guard. But let's table the emotions for now and focus on nailing those picks again.

Here are our moneyline, point spread and point total picks for Celtics-Wizards, as well as two locks against the spread from around the association.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET

Moneyline: The Celtics (-450) have developed a bit of a habit of playing down to their competition. (See: slim wins over the Knicks and Cavs.) But they're still talented enough to beat the Wizards on an off night. Don't get cute here.

Point Spread: Remember when this used to be a fierce rivalry? The Wizards are 1-5 straight up and against the spread in their last six games against Boston and haven't beaten a team above .500 this season. Daniel Theis' injury is cause for mild concern and Thomas could show out, but I'm still picking the Celtics (-9) to cover.

Point Total: The Wizards have allowed more than 120 points in four of their eight games to date. The concern is Washington scoring enough points to reach the lofty 228 point total but the OVER has hit in eight of these teams' last 10 meetings, so I'm riding the hot hand.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 13-7-1

NBA Locks of the Night

Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets (-1.5): The Grizzlies upset the Spurs on the road Monday night (and made me look like a fool in the process), which means they're primed for a letdown game. The Hornets grind out a home win against a bad team to snap a three-game losing streak.

Toronto Raptors (+3) at Portland Trail Blazers: The Raptors pushed as road dogs Monday night, but I like them to win outright here against a Blazers team that's looked very shaky out of the gate and just lost to the Sacramento Kings.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 8-5-1

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which tips off Monday at 7:00 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

 

Celtics Report Card: Power Ranking the C's roster by importance

Celtics Report Card: Power Ranking the C's roster by importance

Who's been the Celtics MVP so far this season? 

It's not exactly an easy question to answer. Last week, we asked you guys to pick. Given four options — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart — voters were split.

Smart prevailed in the balloting with 28 percent of votes but no one earned less than 22 percent. It hammered home how Boston’s early season success has been a group effort from their core players. 

In lieu of a report card — and Inspired by last weeks’ voting — we attempted this week to try to power rank Celtics players based on their importance to the team’s success so far this season. Like the voters in our poll, we found that you could shuffle the top 5 in just about any order and make a case for your rankings.

Click here for this week's Celtics Report Card.>>>>>

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Kemba Walker 'ecstatic' about getting Gordon Hayward back in Celtics lineup

Kemba Walker 'ecstatic' about getting Gordon Hayward back in Celtics lineup

BOSTON — Count Kemba Walker among those excited to get Gordon Hayward back on the court.

"I'm excited. I'm ecstatic and happy for him,” said Walker. "He was playing really well before he got hurt and, of course, we need him. He is one of our best players. He's a starter for us and averaging 20 points. That's 20 points that we were missing. It will be great to get him back for sure.”

Hayward went through walkthrough Monday with the intention of playing Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to coach Brad Stevens. Hayward was conferencing with trainers after shootaround looking for the final thumbs up. 

Hayward has missed the past 13 games while rehabbing from a left-hand fracture suffered against the San Antonio Spurs in early November.

The Celtics, however, will not be at full strength on Monday even if Hayward plays. Robert Williams is out due to a sore left hip while Marcus Smart is doubtful due to an eye infection.

Walker doesn’t believe the Celtics will have any struggles reintegrating Hayward after his absence. Boston went 9-4 without him.

“Gordon is so smart and knows how to play the game, so easy to play with,” said Walker. "I don't think there will be any challenges. I think he's going to come in and do as well as he did before he got hurt.”

In other injury news, Stevens gave positive updates on Romeo Langford and Tacko Fall.

“[Langford] had a great workout this morning. Did a little bit of our shootaround so that was good, should be clear pretty soon,” Stevens said of the 14th overall pick, who has been sidelined by an ankle he sprained twice in Maine.

"Tacko is doing great,” said Stevens. "I’m guessing he’ll be cleared by the end of the week.”

Fall, a two-way big man, has been sidelined recently with a bruised knee. Once healthy, he’ll be able to rejoin the Maine Red Claws.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.