Tracking the Wizards: NBA Picks and Handicapping for Washington Basketball
by Dave Schwab - 1/20/2015
This NBA season I have been exclusively handicapping the Washington Wizards to release some free weekly picks for their games with the use of Doc's Sports' Unit Betting System. My primary objective with this betting strategy is to earn a long-term profit with these picks to validate how specialization can give you a winning edge when wagering on the NBA. I have bounced back from a string of losses with back-to-back winners to improve my record on the year to 5-6-1, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
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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 continue to heat up with my results at the betting window.
Washington Wizards Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 8 p.m. EST (Verizon Center)
Washington kicks off the first of five-game run against the Western Conference with a home game against Oklahoma City this Wednesday night at the Verizon Center before heading out on the road for the next four contests. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Oklahoma City continues its five-game swing through the Eastern Conference with a Tuesday night stop in Miami to square off against the Heat before heading up the East Coast for Wednesday's game. Before pounding Orlando 127-99 this past Sunday as nine-point road favorites, the Thunder ran past Golden State 127-115 as one-point underdogs at home last Friday night. They are now 5-3 straight up in their last eight games but still a costly 2-6-1 against the spread in their last nine contests.
The Wizards made short work of Philadelphia this past Monday afternoon in an 111-76 romp as 14-point home favorites. They have gone 7-2 SU in their last nine games with a 6-3 record ATS. The total has stayed "under" in four of their last five outings. Washington is now 18-5 SU on its home court this season, but ATS it's just 11-12.
Oklahoma City at Washington Betting Storylines
The road back to contention continues for the Thunder as both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook continue to work themselves back into championship form. The team is hovering right around the .500 mark on the year, and there has been little change in its inconsistency since mid-December with a SU 8-8 record in its last 16 games. The Thunder are averaging 100.2 points and shooting 44.4 percent from the field, which is ranked 21st in the league.
Oklahoma City has been able to remain fairly solid on defense by holding teams to 98.8 points a game, and it is ranked first on the NBA in rebounds with an average of 46.8. Durant is putting up 25.4 points a night in 17 games this season, and Westbrook is a close second with 25.1 points while playing in 26 of the Thunder's first 40 games. Serge Ibaka is the only player that has started every game this year, and he leads the team in both rebounds (7.3) and blocked shots (2.3).
Washington continues to beat the teams it is supposed to. However, to take that next step towards a possible run at a NBA title, these are the type of matchups it has to be able to win, especially at home. The Wizards came up short in a seven-point road loss to Oklahoma City earlier this month on the road, so avenging that loss also has to be on their mind. They have not been the best team in the league to bet on as an underdog with a 6-7-1 record ATS in 14 previous games, but Washington is 3-1 ATS in its last four games closing as an underdog.
John Wall is slowly starting to get some serious attention as a legitimate MVP candidate this season for his all-around play. He leads the team in points (17.0), assists (10.0) and steals (2.0) while shooting 46 percent from the field. He has been the ironman in this starting five with an average playing time of 35.3 minutes a game. Bradley Beal rounds out one of the better backcourts in the NBA with 14.9 points and a shooting percentage of 46.2 from 3-point range. The Wizards' defense still carries this team by holding opponents to just 96.9 points a game, which is the third-lowest total in the league.
Oklahoma City at Washington NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened Washington as a slight 1.5-point home underdog for Wednesday's prime-time matchup on ESPN, and the total for the game has been set at 207.5.
The Thunder are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games against the East heading into Tuesday's game against Miami, but they have failed to cover in four of their last five games on the road. The total has gone "over" in six of their last eight road games.
The Wizards are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games against a team from the Northwest Division, and they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games playing on one day's rest. The total has stayed "under" in their last four home games.
The home team in this inter-conference matchup is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings, and the total has gone over in seven of the last 10 games. Oklahoma City won the first meeting this season 109-102 as a seven-point home favorite on Jan. 2. The total went over the 206 closing line.
Oklahoma City at WashingtonFree NBA Picks and Betting Predictions
Washington has not been the best team to bet on this season at home. However, as a slight underdog, this is a great opportunity to cash in on a moderate 3-Unit play given that it is catching Oklahoma City at a good time. The Thunder will be coming off a road game with zero day's rest and they will be playing their fifth game in seven nights.
3-Unit Play-Take Washington (+1.5) over Oklahoma City
NBA Regular Season Betting Record: 5-6-1 (-$600)
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