Free NBA Picks: Knicks at Wizards Odds
by Alan Matthews - 11/22/2013
Recently, Bovada unveiled a first NBA coach to be fired prop, and the favorite was Washington's Randy Wittman. Right behind him was New York's Mike Woodson. Both teams had playoff expectations this season, but the Knicks' were obviously a bit more grandiose. For some reason, owner James Dolan thinks his team can win a championship. Perhaps he hasn't seen the roster. The Knicks (3-8) have lost four straight games heading into Saturday night's matchup in Washington and could find themselves in last place in the conference by the end of the weekend. Did I mention the Knicks don't have their 2014 first-round pick because of the Carmelo Anthony trade? The Wizards (4-7) are actually playing a bit better, having won two straight, to get Wittman slightly off the hot seat.
Knicks at Wizards Betting Story Lines
I'm supposed to be impartial here, and when it comes to betting I am. But from a personal perspective I am enjoying the Knicks' struggles. That franchise always acts so self-important, yet what has it really done in the past four-plus decades? The Knicks just assumed LeBron James would want to play in the Big Apple back when James was a free agent, but they never had a chance. It's just a New York thing, I guess. They all think it's the best place in the world, and the rest of the country is minor league.
Woodson said this week that he's "absolutely" not worried about his job. He should be. Probably the only thing that is keeping him from getting the hook is that the Knicks remain without their only legitimate defensive player, injured center Tyson Chandler. The team is 2-5 since he went down. Dolan expressed support for Woodson this week as well. The coach is under contract through next season, not that it matters to Dolan, who has deep pockets. There has been talk the Knicks might trade one of their few good, young and inexpensive players in Iman Shumpert for some frontcourt help -- Denver's Kenneth Faried has been mentioned.
Last year's Sixth Man of the Year, J.R. Smith, is showing that was a fluke. He has stunk, shooting .310 from the field and averaging 13.0 points. The only thing Smith can do is score, so if he's not doing that he's essentially worthless. And the Knicks wanted to re-sign him so badly this offseason that they gave his brother Chris a guaranteed contract. He's now in the D-League and probably the worst player there as well.
New York actually played pretty well Wednesday at home, losing 103-96 in overtime to an excellent Indiana team. Anthony had 30 points and 18 rebounds. The Knicks also were without injured starting point guard Raymond Felton in that one, and Amare Stoudemire didn't play because it was the second of a back-to-back. Felton seems like he has a good chance of playing Saturday with all the time off (and he was a game-time call Wednesday) and certainly Stoudemire will play, albeit only his usual 10 minutes. His contract might be the worst in NBA history. And so this isn't all negative about the Knicks, Andrea Bargnani is averaging a solid 16.6 points over his last five games on 48.5 percent shooting from the floor and 36.8 percent from behind the arc. That's another first-round pick (2016) the Knicks don't have.
Washington has followed a four-game skid with nice wins over a good Minnesota team on Tuesday, rallying from a 16-point deficit, and at Cleveland on Wednesday. It was Washington's first wins on back-to-back nights this season. The Wiz played in Toronto on Friday night. Their next six games will all be back-to-back sets, and they are 1-1 in the second of those so far in 2013. The Knicks no doubt will stick Shumpert, a tremendous perimeter defender, on Bradley Beal. The second-year player is having an all-star caliber season by averaging 21.2 points per game and playing a whopping 40 minutes a night. In Washington's four wins, Beal is averaging 24.3 points and shooting .444 from the field. In the seven losses, his numbers are 19.4 and .402. Beal is shooting much better from three-point range than two-pointers overall this season.
Another reason the Wizards are playing better is Nene is killing it, averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the past three games. The Knicks don't have the bulk minus Chandler to deal with Nene and Marcin Gortat. Washington gave up a 2014 first-rounder for Gortat, but at least that's Top-12 protected.
Knicks at Wizards NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, Washington opened as a three-point favorite with a total of 195. The Knicks are 3-8 ATS (3-1 on road) and 6-5 “over/under” (1-3 on road). All Washington trends entering Friday: The Wiz are 6-5 ATS (2-2 at home) and 6-5 O/U (3-1 at home). The Knicks are 0-4 ATS in their past four Saturday games. Washington is 1-5 ATS in its past six in the second of a back-to-back. It is 2-5 ATS in its past seven against teams with a losing record. The under is 9-2 in the Knicks' past 11 playing on two days of rest. The over is 4-1 in Washington's past five Saturday games. The home team is 4-5 ATS in the past five meetings.
Free NBA Picks: Knicks at Wizards Betting Predictions
This is the first of three meetings this season and the only time New York visits D.C. The Knicks won three of four last year, splitting at Washington. Anthony averaged 29.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 rebounds in the four. Beal only played in two of the games, and John Wall missed one. If New York doesn't win this game, things look to get ugly as the Knicks then travel to Portland, the Clippers and Denver. So we could be looking at 3-12. New York had 23 wins last year when it lost game No. 12. I realize Washington is playing the second of a back-to-back and the Knicks are a solid 2-2 on the road, but the Wizards are better at every position other than wherever Anthony plays (small or power forward). Take Washington and the over.
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