Tracking the Wizards: NBA Picks and Handicapping for Washington Basketball
by Dave Schwab - 3/13/2015
I have spent the entire NBA regular season concentrating my handicapping efforts on the Washington Wizards as part of a betting strategy that relies heavily on specialization. In an effort to prove the value of taking this approach, I have been releasing free weekly picks for the Wizards with the use of Doc's Sports Unit Betting System. A two-game winning streak has evened my record on the year to an even 9-9-1, but I am still down $400 on my unit plays.
Doc's has been posting my weekly free picks for select Washington games on its homepage, so be sure to check the site to follow along with my progress. The Wizards continue to fight for a better position in the Eastern Conference standings come playoff time, and I will continue to fight to put money in bettors' pockets by the end of the regular season.
Washington Wizards Free Picks, Odds and Predictions
Saturday, March 14, 7 p.m. EST (Verizon Center)
The Wizards continue a three-game inter-conference homestand with this Saturday night's matchup against the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff from the Verizon Center is set for 7 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
The Kings will first have to make a stop a bit further up I95 this Friday night to tangle with Philadelphia before making the trip to the Verizon Center. Saturday's contest will be the final stop of an extended eight-game road trip in which the Kings have already gone 2-4 both straight up and against the spread. The total has gone "over" five of these six games.
Washington rolled to 107-87 victory against Memphis this past Thursday as an 8.5-point home favorite to improve to 4-2 SU in its last six games following a six-game losing streak. The bad news for bettors is the Wizards' 3-9 record ATS during this 12-game stretch. The total has gone "over" in three of their last five games.
Sacramento at Washington Betting Storylines
Sacramento remains one of the bottom-feeders in the highly-competitive Western Conference standings with a SU record of 22-41, and it has gone 25-36-2 ATS. The Kings have gotten used to being underdogs all year long with an 18-22-1 record ATS when getting points. They have been especially bad on the road with just nine SU victories in 31 games while going 13-17-1 ATS. Sacramento is ranked in the top half of the NBA in scoring with an average of 100.9 points per game, but defensively it's ranked 28th in points allowed (105.1).
Center DeMarcus Cousins remains the Kings one bona fide superstar with a team-high 23.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game. Rudy Gay has also been a big part of the mix with 20.6 points and 5.9 rebounds on the year. Darren Collison is the team's third-leading scorer (16.1 PPG), but he remains out of the lineup indefinitely with a hip injury. The Kings have been able to ramp things up on offense during this road trip with 108.3 points a game, but during this six-game stretch they have allowed 111.2 PPG.
It has been a rough ride for Washington since late January with just six victories in its last 19 games, but the Wizards have to be encouraged with two blowout wins in their last two contests against Charlotte and Memphis. Keep in mind that the Grizzlies sat several key players in Thursday's game, but a win is a win in this league. Washington now has a chance to build a bit of momentum with its first three-game winning streak since early January. The team has slid to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings at 37-28 SU.
John Wall continues to play at a high level with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists his last time out. He is averaging a team-high 17 points and 10 assists a game this season. The return of Bradly Beal to the lineup, after missing time with a leg injury, has provided a boost to an offense that is already ranked 19th in the NBA in scoring with 98.5 PPG. He has averaged 12.2 points in the five games since his return. The Wizards remain one of the better defensive teams in the league in points allowed (97.3 PPG).
Sacramento at Washington NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
BetOnline has opened the Wizards as 8.5-point home favorites for Saturday night's inter-conference clash, and the total for this matchup has been set at 206.5.
The Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games, and they are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against a team from the Southeast Division. The total has gone over in their last four games on the road.
The Wizards are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a SU losing record on the road, and they are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The total has gone over in four of their last five games at home.
This will be the first of two meetings this season, but Sacramento holds a 4-1 SU edge in the last five games with a 3-2 record ATS. The total has stayed under in three of the last four meetings between the two.
Sacramento at Washington Free NBA Picks and Betting Predictions
Betting on Washington to cover as a favorite has been a losing proposition this season, but this is almost a must-win game given its recent form. The biggest thing in the Wizards' favor in this matchup is that they are catching the road-weary Kings at the end of a very long trip, so I am rolling the dice on a 3-Unit play that Washington covers the 8.5 points at home.
3-Unit Play-Take Washington (-8.5) over Sacramento
NBA Regular Season Betting Record: 9-9-1 (-$400)
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