Tracking the Wizards: NBA Picks and Handicapping for Washington Basketball
by Dave Schwab - 1/15/2015
My task this NBA season has been to exclusively handicap the Washington Wizards and release free weekly picks for their games with the use of Doc's Sports' Unit Betting System. My goal is to earn a long-term profit with these picks to validate specialization as a solid betting strategy. While it has been a bit of a rocky start with a 4-6-1 record in my first 11free picks, my handicapping efforts are starting to provide a higher level of predictability as the NBA regular season wears on.
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Doc's will be posting these weekly free picks on their homepage, so be sure to check the site to follow along with my progress. The Wizards remain in the heat of the battle for the lead in the Eastern Conference, and I am looking to heat up my results at the betting window.
Washington Wizards Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Friday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. EST (Verizon Center)
Washington opens up a home-and-home series against the Brooklyn Nets this Friday night at the Verizon Center, with the series shifting to Barclays Center on Saturday night. Tipoff for Game 1 is set for 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
The Nets' current downward spiral continued with a 103-92 loss to Memphis this past Wednesday night as seven-point home underdogs. They have now lost their last seven games straight up while going a very costly 1-7 against the spread in their last eight contests. The total has now gone "over" in their last two games after staying "under" in their previous five games.
Washington has gone 5-1 SU in its last six games following Wednesday's 105-99 victory against Chicago, and even though it covered as a 5.5-point road underdog, it's still just 4-4-1 ATS in its last nine games. The Wizards are 18-20-1 ATS overall while going 27-12 SU. They are 10-11 ATS at home this season, and the total has gone over in three of their last five games.
Brooklyn at Washington Betting Storylines
Points have been very hard to come by in the Nets' seven-game slide with an average of just 89.3 points per game. This compares with a season average of 95.5 PPG that is already ranked 25th in the NBA. The only thing that has kept this team somewhat competitive this season has been a defensive effort that is ranked 11th in points allowed (98.2). Interestingly enough, this total has actually dropped to 96.7 points over its last seven games.
The loss of Deron Williams with fractured ribs has not helped the cause considering he was averaging 13.9 points and leading the team in assists with 6.3 a game. Joe Johnson remains Brooklyn's leading scorer with 16.2 PPG, and Brook Lopez is adding another 14.6 points while shooting a solid 50.4 percent from the field. The Nets, as a team, are shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and just 32.3 percent from 3-point range.
Washington is definitely not one of the more dynamic teams in the NBA when it comes to scoring with an average of 99.7 PPG, but it has been even more stingy on defense than the Nets by holding opponents to just 97.5 PPG. With the exception of a 120-point meltdown against the blazing-hot Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 11, the Wizards have really put the clamps on teams lately by giving up just 90.8 PPG in their last five wins.
John Wall and Bradley Beal continue to deliver a potent one-two punch in the backcourt with a combined 32.5 PPG. Wall leads the team in assists with 10.2 a night, and Beal remains a solid threat from the outside with a 47.1 shooting percentage from 3-point range. Washington continues to win the majority of its games by doing quite a few things really well. It's ranked fourth in the NBA in assists (24.9), and its 47.4 shooting percentage is the second-best in the league.
Brooklyn at Washington NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened Washington as a 10.5-point home favorite for this weekend's home-and-home series opener, and the total has been set at 192
The Nets are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against the Southeast Division, and they are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss. The total has stayed under in 12 of their last 15 road games.
The Wizards are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against a team from the Atlantic Division, and they are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games playing on one day of rest. The total has stayed under in five of their last six home games.
Head-to-head in this Eastern Conference clash, the home team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings, and the total has stayed under in five of the last seven games played in Washington.
Brooklyn at Washington Free NBA Picks and Betting Predictions
These two Eastern Conference foes come into this home-and-home series clearly playing at opposite ends of the spectrum, but my confidence level in the Wizards covering a double-digit spread is not all that high. Especially since they are just 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games as favorites. One thing that both of these teams have been able to do, win or lose, is play defense, so I am going with a 3-Unit play on the "under" 192 in Friday's contest.
3-Unit Play-Take Brooklyn at Washington UNDER 192
NBA Regular Season Betting Record: 4-6-1 (-$900)
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