Thursday’s early lines are up, and I’m jumping:
- $165 to win $150 on Chicago at home giving 4.5 to Boston
Wadeless Miami’s Wednesday night loss seemingly boosts the Celtics’ incentive to win in Chicago, but then again, Boston is tired and battered; the Three Party has carried too much of the load in recent weeks, what with the spate of frontline injuries, the envervating swap of Perkins for Green, and the mysterious decline of Rondo.
Even with a loss tomorrow, the conference and head-to-head tiebreakers favor Boston, and the Celts will close out their regular season with three cupcakes and a road scuffle in Miami.
So the question is whether they’ll risk leaving blood on the floor in Chicago, failing, then facing the prospect of still having to beat the Heat once more.
I think the likelier scenario is Boston recognizing the path of least resistance to the East’s second seed doesn’t run through Chicago Thursday night, but rather Miami this weekend.
Chicago, meanwhile, is a young team with a chance to clinch the franchise’s first post-Jordan top seed before what should be a raucous home crowd. What’s old hat for the veteran Celts is prized by the Bulls; I expect early jitters followed by Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose, Derrick Rose.
Here’s hoping Boston sees the schedule as I do.