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NBA Playoff Specials: Clippers to progress, Celtics over Wizards

Sun, Apr 30, 10:52am by Head Editor

The playoffs continue early on Monday (AEST) when the Wizards head to Boston to take on the Celtics in game one of their second- round series. That contest is followed by game seven of the rollercoaster series between the Jazz and the Clippers.

Wizards @ Celtics

TD Garden, Boston –  Monday 1 May, 3:00am

TV: Live on ESPN

It’s conference semi-finals time for the Celtics and the Wizards, after they disposed of the Bulls and the Hawks respectively in the first round of the playoffs.

Boston did it the hard way against the Bulls, dropping their first two home games of the series, before fighting back to pull off four straight wins. Isaiah Thomas led the team in scoring, averaging 23 points and 5.7 assists in the series.

It must be noted that the Celtics’ success in this series coincided with the injury of the Bulls’ Rajon Rondo.

Washington won three out of three home games before closing out the Hawks on the road in game six to advance to the second round. John Wall exploded for 42 points in Game Six to finish with averages of 29 points and 10 assists per game in the first round.

Sportsbet has the Wizards at $2.68 to start the series with a win. Boston are $1.50 on their home court, where they’ve won both games against the Wizards this season.

Suggested Bet: Celtics to win: $1.50

Jazz @ Clippers

Staples Centre, Los Angeles–  Monday 1 May, 5:30am

TV: Live on ESPN

After winning in Utah in game six, the Clippers will go in favourites on their home floor to clinch what’s been an amazing series. A win that would see them progress to the second round of the playoffs for the fourth time in six years.

Their opponents haven’t had as much playoff success, and that was evident in their poor showing at home on Saturday morning (AEST), when they lost 93-98 on their home floor, when a win would have seen them advance to the second round for the first time since 2009-10.

They need to put that performance behind them quickly though, punters haven’t forgiven them, with Sportsbet offering $2.49 for them to progress. The Clippers – who’ve won six of their last eight home games – are a $1.57 favourite.

When Blake Griffin went down with an injury in game three, the Clippers looked gone but Chris Paul has stood up in his absence, averaging more than 27 points and 10 assists this series.

It’s been a tough series to predict, but now that it’s back in LA, the hosts have the advantage. The home team has won 12 of the last 14 game sevens and I’m taking the Clippers to make it 13 of 15 here.

Suggested Bet: Clippers to win: $1.57

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