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April 30, 2017

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Vegas Play of the Day: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls

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Michael Dwyer / AP FILE

Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas shoots during the fourth quarter of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Boston. The Bulls won 106-102.

We’ve entered the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.

Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won the 2015-2016 season, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place.

Boston Celtics plus-2 at Chicago Bulls: $550 to win $500

There’s no denying it, the Boston Celtics are off to the worst playoff start by a one seed in NBA history.

The Celtics have joined the 1993 Phoenix Suns as the only top seeds to drop the first two games of the opening series at home. The Suns went on to sweep the eighth seed from that point on and made it to the NBA Finals before losing to Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

I don’t know if the Celtics will do all of that, but I also don’t think they should be underdogs to the Bulls. Boston is the better team and that will eventually shine through. Also, the Celtics were much better against the spread this year on the road. Boston struggled to a 17-24 record against the spread at TD Garden but were 23-16 against the spread on the road (fifth best in the NBA).

The Bulls have thrived this year when no one believes in them, shown by the first two games of this series, but they will struggle with matching the higher expectations at home. Chicago was only 11-15 against the spread as a home favorite this year and I think Boston gets back into this series tonight.

Current Standings: Grimala (7-11, $8,233), Keefer (42-35-3, $8,210), Granger (13-18-1, $7,727), Brewer (29-29-1, $7,485)

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