I have been exclusively handicapping the Washington Wizards all season long as part of a NBA betting strategy that relies heavily on specialization. I have also been releasing free picks for their games with the use of Doc's Sports Unit Betting System to put some money behind my efforts. With the correct 3-Unit play in my last free pick, I have been able to turn the corner with a profitable return on my year-to-date results.
Doc's will continue to post these free picks for Washington games on its homepage, so be sure to check the site to follow along with my progress. The Wizards have been on a highly-profitable run during these NBA Playoffs, and my plan is to continue to capitalize on their success for as long as it lasts.
Washington Wizards Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Tuesday, May 5, 8 p.m. EST (Philips Arena)
The Eastern Conference Semifinal series between Washington and Atlanta continues this Tuesday night with Game 2 of this best-of-seven series showdown between these two Southeast Division rivals. Tipoff from Philips Arena is slated for 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
The Wizards have stunned the NBA betting world with five straight up victories in five games this postseason while covering against the spread each time. They are actually a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven contests with the total going "over" in eight of their last 10 games. After Sunday's stunning 104-98 victory in Game 1 of this series as a 5.5-point road underdog, Washington has now covered in its last five games on the road.
Atlanta blew a 2-0 lead against Brooklyn in the opening round of the playoffs before winning that series 4-2 with a convincing 111-87 victory in Game 6 as a five-point road favorite. Following Sunday's loss, the Hawks are now 8-2 straight up in their last 10 home games with a 6-4 record ATS. The total has gone over in three of their last four contests overall.
Washington at Atlanta Betting Storylines
It had been a major struggle betting on the Wizards over the course of the second half of the regular season, but things have suddenly fallen back into place for a team that started this year as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Behind John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington has averaged 109 points per game in the postseason as opposed to a scoring average of 98.5 points in the regular season, which was ranked 17th in the league. Defensively, the Wizards held Toronto to 96.3 PPG in the opening round before allowing 98 points in Sunday's win.
The big concern for Tuesday night is the health of Beal's right ankle, which was sprained in Game 1. He has been Washington's top scorer in the playoffs with an average of 22.2 PPG. Wall is second on the team in points with 17.4, and veteran Paul Pierce has made his presence felt in the postseason with another 16.2 PPG. Marcin Gortat's 10.4 rebounds a game has been a huge part of the Wizards' dominance under the boards with an average of 49.4 rebounds a game.
Atlanta has been plagued with inconsistency in its first seven playoff games, so you never really know what kind of effort you are going to get from one game to the next. The Hawks have five players averaging at least 14 points a game led by DeMarre Carroll's 18.4 PPG. Carroll has shot a blazing 48.7 percent from 3-point range while Paul Millsap and Al Horford have combined for 30.3 points and 21 rebounds over the course of these seven postseason contests.
While the individual stats of all three of these players have been impressive, Atlanta's SU 4-3 record in the playoffs as a favorite in every contest is cause for concern. The Hawks are averaging 101.3 PPG as a team, but they have failed to eclipse this mark in four of seven games. Atlanta is shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from 3-point range in the postseason, which are both well below its regular season numbers (46.6 and 38.0 percent).
Washington at Atlanta NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Wizards are 10-1-2 ATS in their last 13 games, and they are 9-1-2 ATS in their last 12 games against a team from the Eastern Conference. The total has gone "over" in their last five games following a SU win.
The Hawks are 13-6-2 ATS in their last 21 games against a division opponent, but they are just 2-12-1 ATS in their last 15 games in the conference semifinal round of the playoffs. The total has gone over in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record.
The road team in this division clash is 5-2-1 in the last eight meetings, and the total has gone over in the last seven games played in Atlanta. The Hawks had the 3-1 SU edge in the regular season with a 3-0-1 record ATS.
Washington at Atlanta Free NBA Picks and Betting Predictions
I do not have enough confidence to go with Washington in Game 2, but I am not about to start betting against this team after watching the Wizards elevate their game to a whole new level during this incredible run. As long as Beal is good to go, what I do have confidence in is Washington's ability to keep scoring at a high level to help take this total over the 198-point line.
3-Unit Play-Take Washington at Atlanta OVER 198
NBA Regular Season Betting Record: 12-11-2 (-$260)
NBA Playoffs Betting Record: 1-0 (+$300)
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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