Back Wizards to Cover Against Clippers for NBA Picks

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:28 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 2:28 PM GMT

The Washington Wizards will wrap their four-game western swing tonight before heading home. They will face a Los Angeles team who will be at the Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 15, which should make for some intriguing betting odds on this matchup.

Missed Opportunities Keep Washington from Getting Over the Hump

The Wizards started the new year feeling rather spry, having won their last two games of 2013 to reach .500 and felt better days were ahead for this developing squad.

The Washington players have openly talked about getting “…over the hump” and raising their level of play. The Wizards have been atrocious for years, thus being ordinary is an improvement with – above average – the next summit to reach.

Unfortunately, Washington has not been able to breakthrough with an 8-8 record in January thus far (6-10 ATS), having blown some real opportunities. 

Since defeating Chicago twice in three games with the middle of the sandwich a tasty homecourt victory over Miami. Washington has lost to Detroit, Boston and at Utah, who are a combined 39 games BELOW .500. These types of wasted chances are hard to make up as every NBA basketball handicappers understands

The frustration has found its way to the locker room as noted by center Marcin Gortat. “We don’t even talk about going over .500 anymore,” Gortat said. “We just try to prepare each other, prepare for the next game. We need to have some consistency and start building a streak, a winning streak.

[gameodds]5/253903/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Clippers Satisfied, yet Still Yearning to Play Better 

Los Angeles is finally home after a seven-game road that took them as far south as the Carolina’s and as far north as Canada. The Clippers won their last three contests to finish 5-2 SU and ATS on the excursion and several players were quoted as saying they were “proud of the improvement” after finishing 4-3 on a seven-game road swing in December. 

The Clippers return home where they have the fourth-best home record at 18-3 and those setting the NBA odds are giving them the respect of a “public team” since L.A. is just 11-10 against the spread despite winning by 11 points a game at home, which is the second-highest winning margin by a NBA team playing on their own floor.

Do not count the Clips as automatic here in spite of Washington’s 5-10 and 5-9-1 ATS record against the Western Conference.

Before making your NBA picks, understand I wrote an article here last week about teams returning home after being on the road for at least four games and thus far this season these teams are 12-23 ATS in that initial home game.

Betting Odds  

Sportsbooks sent the matchup out with L.A. a nine-point favorite, but it slipped to eight this morning, with a total of 207. The Clippers are 22-6 and 18-10 ATS with one day between games and 15-13 UNDER. 

Washington is 6-5 SU and ATS without rest this season.

Scheduling 

I received a few emails recently about NBA game articles and some wondered why I included upcoming schedules in them. Nearly every sharp bettor I have ever met who studies the NBA odds always looks at the schedule. Because of the 82 games, sometimes teams are going to be flat no matter how superior their talent and coaches will often talk about winning segments of the schedule instead saying they have to win every game, which is a more realistic approach to sell to their team.

For example, this could be hard focus game for the Clippers, back home after a long trip and having to travel to face division rival Golden State tomorrow night.

The Wizards are going through the NBA gauntlet, having won at Golden State last night, facing the Clips tonight and flying home to begin a homestand, in which the first three contests are against Oklahoma City, Portland and San Antonio.

Head to Head Meetings 

The Clippers 4-1 and 3-2 ATS the past three years against Washington, including taking both games at home (1-1 ATS).

The Choice

The Wizards have beaten both Phoenix and Golden State on this road trip and as long as the number holds at +8, Washington should have a good chance to cover because they are strong in the frontcourt and point guard John Wall continues to excel.

NBA Free Pick – Washington plus the points

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