Eastern Conference Play-In picks

Russell Westbrook Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook led the Wizards into the Play-In. Photo from Yahoo.

Read below for NBA picks for May 18th games. Basketball betting predictions and picks for NBA schedule on Tuesday May 18th.

All odds courtesy of 888Sport. Click here to go to 888’s latest NBA odds for Thursday’s games.

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Wizards vs Celtics prediction

Not many expected to be looking at a Wizards vs Celtics prediction in the play-in. Boston has underachieved, and the Wizards have surged late in the year to book a play-in berth. Washington’s Sunday win over Charlotte made sure they need just one win to secure a postseason spot.

Playing without Jaylen Brown, there’s uncertainty over Celtics in NBA play-in picks. Kemba Walker is a question mark, despite scoring 36 in his last outing. The dependence on Jayson Tatum is enormous. These Celtics are somehow suddenly short on firepower, and the injury concerns of Robert Williams could leave them vulnerable inside against Robin Lopez and/or Daniel Gafford.

Bookies cannot split the teams here. Boston is only getting a couple of points, with the Wizards at Evens straight up with 888Sport.

Bradley Beal wasn’t himself on Sunday, or that’s at least how it seemed early on. While seemingly playing through pain, Beal came up big in the fourth quarter as the Wiz staged a comeback. The combination of Beal and Russell Westbrook makes the Wizards a dangerous opponent. Pair that with the defense they have played lately and they could well topple the Celtics on Tuesday.

Wizards vs Celtics prediction: Washington Wizards to win (Evens)


Hornets vs Pacers prediction

The Charlotte Hornets are underdogs by 2.5 points for this one. Indiana has been hit by a brutal run of injuries throughout the season. This is still a team with All-Star talent in Domantas Sabonis and good players around him including Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, but there are clearly some serious (maybe irreparable) chemistry issues in that locker room.

Compare that to Charlotte and it looks even worse. The Hornets are enjoying their basketball. The mix of ball movement and athleticism makes them one of the most fun teams to watch in the Association. While they have endured a difficult period of their own with LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward missing considerable time, Ball’s return has reignited their offense. Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington should have fun against this Pacers defense without the rim protection of Myles Turner.

The Hornets won the season series 2-1. Their lack of experience has been on show at points, and they could be forced to use Cody Zeller to matchup with Sabonis, but this is a group who knows who they are. There’s a clear identity to their basketball.

Finishing the season with five straight losses will put off some bettors. That’s obviously a factor as we weigh up a Hornets vs Pacers prediction.

Charlotte misses Hayward, but the Pacers have their own absences that leave them weakened for this game. At 13/10, the Hornets are a good price straight up.

Hornets vs Pacers prediction: Charlotte Hornets to win (13/10)

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About Sam Cox 667 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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