Celtics vs. Warriors NBA Odds and Free Picks for March 16

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Draymond Green is back, but can the Golden State Warriors beat the Boston Celtics and the NBA odds this Wednesday in San Francisco?

Boston Celtics vs. Golden State Warriors

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 – 10:00 PM EDT at Chase Center

This is the Golden State Warriors team people have been waiting for. Draymond Green made his return from the injured list Monday night, and was instrumental in Golden State’s 126-112 victory over the Washington Wizards (+11.5 away), leading all players with a plus-24 in his 20 minutes off the bench.

With Green, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson reunited, the Dubs are once again true title contenders in the NBA. That doesn’t mean they belong in your NBA picks this Wednesday.

The Boston Celtics are the right choice here after opening as 4-point road dogs at DraftKings; the Celtics (41-28 SU, 35-33-1 ATS) are even healthier than the Warriors (47-22 SU, 35-30-4 ATS) right now, and they’re one of the most undervalued teams in the league heading into the playoff stretch.

Paper Chase

At press time, the Celtics find themselves in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, just 2.5 games up on the seventh-place Toronto Raptors in the race to avoid the play-in tournament. However, the C’s have the best point differential in the East at plus-5.6, one point better than the first-place Miami Heat – and just one point worse than the Warriors.

Is Golden State’s home-court advantage worth more than three points on the NBA odds board? Maybe. It’s a bit hard to tell because of the effect COVID-19 has had on attendance, and Chase Center is a relatively new venue for the Dubs; as a general rule, old-school handicappers were assigning home teams around 2.25 points before the pandemic.

They may have bumped that up to three points or more at Oracle Arena, which was one of the loudest venues in the league, but those emotions have yet to take full root in San Francisco.

In Sickness and Health

This isn’t just about point differentials and a home-court advantage, though. While the Warriors can look forward to bigger things in general now that Green has returned, they’re still not at 100 percent healthy.

Gary Payton II (knee), one of this year’s biggest surprises, has been ruled out for Wednesday’s matchup, while Andrew Wiggins (illness) is questionable after missing Monday’s game and Tuesday’s practice.

Andre Iguodala (back) is also still on the shelf for Golden State, and Green is presumably still on a minutes restriction for now. The Celtics, on the other hand, are completely healthy aside from backup guard Aaron Nesmith (ankle).

That wasn’t the case earlier this year when they got off to that slow start. The C’s are also 10-3 SU and 7-6 ATS with Derrick White in uniform, after picking him up from the San Antonio Spurs ahead of the trade deadline.

White is a considerable upgrade over Dennis Schroder, who was sent packing to Houston in the Daniel Theis trade. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Celtics +4 (-110) with DraftKings