#1: Take Boston Celtics at -5 spread against Toronto
Raptors risking 3 units. (7:30 PM)
The Boston Celtics return home tonight after a completely disappointing
showing last night. Boston was blown out on the road against arguably
the worst team in the league in the Charlotte Bobcats and prior to that
they were beaten soundly by Oklahoma City on the road. You can bet that
since they are now at home that the Celtics are going to be highly motivated
for a win tonight. Tonight I will predict the Celtics put forth one
of their best efforts that they have had all season.
Paul Pierce will also be perhaps the "freshest" player on
the floor tonight as Pierce did not play against the Bobcats last night
to get some much needed rest. Pierce will return tonight and will give
his team a big lift. Meanwhile, the Raptors could be without
their best player in Rudy Gay as he was listed as doubtful with a back
injury but it has since been upgraded to probable. If Rudy does play, he still
likely won't be a 100% and Andrea Bargnani is out for the rest of the
While Boston has struggled on the road this season, they are an incredibly
strong team when playing at home. At 22-9 at home this season Boston has gone 8-1 ATS in their last
9 home games. Toronto on the other hand has been an extremely poor road
team this season and has amassed only a 9-23 record outside of Toronto.
The home team has won six of the last seven meetings with the lone
exception being a Boston road victory (99-95) in their most recent meeting
on February 6th.
The Celtics have always completely owned the Raptors in the series.
The Raptors are just 3-10-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings with the Celtics
and it's worth noting that Boston's last loss to Raptors at home was
all the way back on January 23, 2008!
The Celtics have also won 9 straight home meetings with the Raptors
and all were by 6 points or more. Take a motivated Celtics team to bounce
back and get a much needed and impressive win and cover.
#2: Take Marshall Thundering Herd at +3 spread
against Tulane Green Wave risking 3 Units. (9:30 PM)
Marshall has underachieved all season long after many thought during
the preseason that it would contend with Memphis for the conference
crown. However Marshall did show it's pre-season potential when they
played their best game of the year in knocking off highly ranked Southern
Mississippi 88-84 to avenge a 56 point loss earlier in the season. Marshall
finds themselves in a similar situation tonight as they will be looking
to avenge a loss to Tulane earlier in the season again tonight. The
Green Wave defeated Marshall 91-75. It's worth noting that Marshall
still own an 8-6 all-time series edge.
Tulane stumbled down the stretch with four consecutive losses by an
average of 5.5 ppg to close out the regular season. The Green Wave's
poor finish made it the eighth-seed although they could have finished
tied for third had they won out. Tulane went 3-9 in true road tests
and won its only contest at a neutral site this season and I expect
this game with Marshall to be a lot closer than the first.
The issue with Marshall has not necessarily been on the offensive
end. Conference USA happens to be one of the highest scoring conferences
in the league, however their isn't a whole lot of defense played. With
Marshall under-performing all season after expectations were so high
I expect them to come into this game looking to not only avenge their
loss to Tulane but to make a deep run in this tournament. Marshall won
this tournament last season as a 6th seed and if they can play up to
their potential, they could possibly be a team that goes all the way.
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