March 13th 2013 - Posted 5:55 PM Eastern Time

#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 season.

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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