2017-18 Washington Wizards Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
The last couple of years the Eastern Conference of the NBA has been a Big One followed by a Smaller But Still Significant Three. Boston has made a clear move to join Cleveland, but it still feels like Washington and Toronto are in the second tier, and that the gap between them and the rest isn't shrinking. Washington hasn't improved this offseason, and their depth isn't exactly inspiring, but they should be hosting a first-round playoff series as they have in three of the last four years. They have also won each of those playoff series, only to fall in the second round. Again, that would feel far from surprising this year.
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2017 Washington Wizards Betting Storylines
John Wall is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference, and a new deal signed this summer that pays him $42.5 million a year for the next four years will be a constant reminder of that for him. And Bradley Beal is an elite player. The two guys haven't always been besties, but they have found ways to play together that benefit each other and the team. It is always going to be a challenge for a team to figure out what to do to supplement a core like that. This summer they flirted with change, openly courting Paul George. When that didn't work out they signed Otto Porter to a massive four-year deal. As a result the team is basically locked into the status quo for at least the next year or two. And that's probably okay. It's the sad reality of the NBA right now that no team in the East is going to touch Cleveland except maybe Boston if everything falls into place just right, and any team in the East would be very lucky to win even a game in the finals against Golden State barring at least one major injury, and probably two. So, for a team to be positioned to reliably win 50 or so games, play a reasonably entertaining style, and generally entertain their fans is more than at least 20 teams in the league will be able to offer. The Wizards have accepted their reality, and that makes them much easier to judge for bettors.
Depth was a concern for this team last year, and it is at least as much of one this season. The three highly-paid players are strong. Markieff Morris is solid but out for the first two or three months of the season. Marcin Gortat is aging ungracefully in front of our eyes, but backup Ian Mahinmi is fine. And Kelly Oubre Jr. is fine, and Tim Frazier is probably as good as the team needs as a backup point guard. But that's about it. The depth is sketchy, and their ability to weather long-term injuries is really questionable. If there is one thing that can derail this team in a hurry it is a key injury - especially to Wall. That's a concern for any team, but among 'contenders' it's not more significant anywhere else aside from maybe Houston. It also means that their margin for error is really small. Beal and Porter are still under 25, and Wall is only 27, so they can all get better. If one of them falters badly this year, though, there aren't really guys to step in and fill the gap. The Wizards have a nice hand, and they have pushed their chips in, but they don't have the nuts, and they just have to hope that no one else does, either.
2017 Washington Wizards Additions and Departures
With the Wall and Porter contracts being the priority, the rest of the summer was just spent shuffling deck chairs. Tim Frazier was acquired from New Orleans for a second-round pick. Trey Burke and Bojan Bogdanovic left as RFAs - Burke was not offered, and Bogdanovic was offered by Indiana and Washington declined to match. And Brandon Jennings left to play in China. The closest thing to an interesting addition was Jodie Meeks, who signed a two-year deal to back up Beal. The team traded away both their draft picks this year - the first for what wound up being a rental of Bogdanovic, and the second for Frazier - so no drafted rookies will join the team.
2017 Washington Wizards Futures Odds and Trends
Washington Wizards Futures Odds
NBA title odds ( from BetOnline ) : +6600
Eastern Conference title odds : +2000
John Wall MVP Odds ( from Bovada ) : +3300
Bradley Beal MVP Odds : +20000
Season win total (from BetOnline): 48.5 ("over" is favored at -120)
The team basically broke even over the course of the season for bettors - they were 42-39-1 ATS. The profits were significant on the total side, though - they went over 51 times and "under" 31.
2017 Washington Wizards Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I find it hard to get too excited about these predictions. Barring a major setback, they'll win 46-54 games or so. They'll probably win a playoff round, too. But then they'll lose to Boston or Cleveland and that will be that. The season win total is accurate, and I see no real value.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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